Friday, November 24, 2006

it's that time...

Yesterday was great. As self-imposed exiles, we decided to get together and enjoy a meal in solidarity. We shared stories, we shared gossip, we embarassed each other and we bonded. Amongst our group, we have varying ideals and outlook and we respect each other's right to hold that belief, even though we may not share it or even comprehend the view. Mutual respect and tolerance, it's a good thing. We are each other's adopted family here.

Today, I'm sure hordes of people got up at some insane hour of the morning, the time at which some people are just getting home from a fun night out. I cannot comprehend getting up that early to head out fighting the masses for a sale.
Point 1...I don't do crowds. I get tunnel vision and sensory overload. I go into survival mode in which my thoughts run something like "would these assholes get the fuck out of my way so I can leave?" This mindset is not conducive to fun shopping.

Point 2... I like my sleep. I'm sure I can buy whatever it is I need to get after I wake up. In fact, if I wait till tomorrow, I'm pretty sure that many people will be home exhausted and recovering while I'll be well rested and have (slightly) shorter lines.

The rush is on. I'll be hearing Christmas tunes most places. I might even find myself at the grocery store singing along as I browse the aisles. Christmas cards, wrapping paper, decorations will bloom like weeds in mid-summer. I'll be tempted to buy things I don't need. I might even give in here and there...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


First, I painted. Then I shopped. Now finally, the shelf is up. Yesterday I took a good part of the afternoon and put this monster together. At the end, I finally broke down and went over to my neighbor's house to beg for help because I couldn't finish on my own. We tugged and pulled at opposite ends of the shelf and finally got it done. Whaddaya think? Looks good, no?
Of course, this was right after we put it up. I've already started to actually (gasp) organize and put things on my beautiful new shelf. It's nice to be able to see my floor again.

Friday, November 17, 2006

feelin' groovy on a friday...

Ah, some mornings are meant to be savored. One of my favorite things in the world is taking my time in the mornings. Today, I lay in bed for a while, just lay there under the warm covers watching the sun filtering through the shades. Finally, I was ready to get up...fed the kitty and then sauntered into the kitchen, stepping over all my stuff strewn all over the place, to make my cup of coffee. I am addicted to my morning coffee. I have a little stovetop espresso maker. I use Cuban coffee...if I get close to running out, I have Mom send me more from Florida. I've got Bob Marley playing...
I look around. Yes, my apartment is a mess. Yes, I need to clean. And yes, it will wait. Right now, I have some serious lounging to do.

One of the things I aspire to own is a hammock. I've wanted one for ages. I don't really have the room for it, but that doesn't stop me wanting one. For me, it is the perfect icon of lounging. Have you ever just lay in a hammock, under the trees, looking up at the sky without the need or pressure of thinking about all the things you have to get done? Pure bliss, my friends...pure bliss. Like I day....

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Museum back...

Six hours in the studio shooting one assignment has left my back in spasms. My neighbor H. stopped by to see if I wanted to go to the supermarket with her. I could use some groceries, but the thought of walking around the grocery store with my back convulsing led me to kindly decline. I explained to her...She nodded and said, "ah yes, museum back. That's what happens when you walk around a musuem for a while staring at all the items. You get museum back."
Yes...I have studio back.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

[Insert appropriate string of Tourette's words...]

That's about how I feel right now. FSDHMF!! Now, usually, I don't cuss very much unless I'm riled up!! In fact, some people I've known were under the impression I didn't cuss because they'd never heard those sorts of words coming out of my mouth. But sometimes, it really helps blow off some steam!!

I'm going to my second class today to hand in another assignment that I will have to redo. I got back the assignment that was due the first class, and the teach is making me reshoot both parts (35mm and 4x5). I knew I had to redo the 4x5 because I had done it wrong to begin with, but I thought the 35mm was fine!! No. He's making me redo it. From what I've heard, everyone except for 1 person has to reshoot. He said my focus needs improvement (and I used autofocus!!) What gets me is that he actually had it marked "good" at first then crossed it out and checked "needs improvement." I can imagine it...

Teacher sitting there, with stack of notebooks, lightbox and loupe. He gets to mine, reviews it..."hmm...not bad on the 35mmm. good, good...Oh wait a second. Since she has to reshoot the 4x5, I might as well have her reshoot the 35mm as well. Yeah, that's it. What can I mark her off on? Focus! I'll say the focus needs improvement! Yeah that's it! The practice will be good for her! hehehe"

Ok, I'm exaggerating, I don't really think he did that, but I am still aggravated that I have to redo the whole damned thing! ARGH!! And that's only the first part.

Back to the assignment that is due today. It's a 4x5 black and white print, which we had to process. Unlike 35mm film, these are sheets of film that slide into place on the reel, and then have plastic little "gates" that you have to click into place to hold the sheets there during processing. First, I couldn't get them on, they kept falling off. (I'll try to get a picture of this contraption later.) Then, when I finally got everything loaded and started processing, my tank was leaking!! When I finally got done, my negative looked horrible. It's incredibly underexposed and I don't know why. It's frustrating. I know that once I get organized, it won't be such a big deal, but right now I feel scattered into a thousand little pieces. Yes, little pieces of me are floating up into the atmosphere right now, swirling at their freedom. In the meantime, I'm down here trying to gather all these pieces back.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Class in Siberia

I had class today. I thought I'd be smart and bring my jacket. Last class, I had worn my flip-flops and I had forgotten the jacket. I almost didn't recover from the frostbite. So, this time, wearing closed shoes, I grabbed my jacket on the way out, thinking this would suffice.

Ha! I sat in class, freezing again. My feet were cold, my hands were going numb and I was sure my nose would fall off. I have thick hair and yet, I could feel the cold seeping into my skull. At break, we all made a mad dash for the sun and just basked like lizards.

Next time, I am bringing a hat and a scarf.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I am a picture without compare...

I had to go to Home Depot today to pick up a quart of my yellow paint so I can finish one more wall. While my paint was in the fantabulous paint-can shaker, I went and browsed at other colors. When I returned, the previous three men working the counter had disappeared leaving one guy with "Mister" tattoed on his arm in script, and a long line. I took my place in line behind a old man with a full beard, thick glasses and an old painter's cap as "Mister" ran around trying to help everyone.

We waited. I knew that one of the cans shaking right in front of me was mine, and, being the chatty sort, I indicated the shaking machine and told Mr. Painter next to me, "Hear that? One of these is mine." He answered, "Well, one of those is not one of mine!" And we both laughed. (why is it that if he had been some incredibly gorgeous guy, I probably would not have said a word...just ogled in silence???)

Mr P: Ah you're just going to take it home and have someone else paint anyways!
Me: Oh no. I'm painting!
He looked at me astounded: You are?
Me: Oh yeah.
Mr. P: Are you painting inside or outside?
Me: Inside.
Mr P: Yeah, then you're painting.

Me: I'm not allowed to paint outside. It's not my house.
Mr P, looking sideways at me: Aaaah. Well, if you could paint it, what color would you paint it?
Me: Hmmm...I'm a big fan of white and red. It's a nice cheery look.
Mr P looks at my purple shirt: Why not purple?
Me with an incredulous look on my face: On a house? I don't think so.
Mr. P: If we were in Mexico, you would.
Me: Ah, but we're not, are we?
We both laughed again.

Mr P: In Mexico, they paint all sorts of colors.
Me: Oh I know! I'm from Florida. Certain neighborhoods have a bright pink house, right next to the bright green house, next to the purple house, next to the yellow house...
Mr P: They would do that here if we let them.
Me: It does have a certain charm.
Mr P: Then you wouldn't know if you're in Florida or California!
Me (laughing): Oh, I think you'd know!!

Then Mister came and pulled out a paint can, and plopped it on the counter. Mr. P says, "Well, there you go."The little dab of paint on top of the gallon can was brown.
Me: Oh, that's not mine!
Mr.P: Well, that's good because that is not a color for inside the house!
Me: No, definitely not!

Mr. P had a part of a medium green door frame that he needed to match. As we stood waiting and chatting, he told me about the lady he's doing some house work she's fixing the house up to rent and she's moving to Indiana. We both agreed-who moves to Indiana for the winter??? He said he told her she'd be back. Mister finally came around again and pulled out my little quart, undoes the lid and puts the little dab of yellow on top.

Mr P looked at me over his glasses: Are you sure you're not in Mexico??

I didn't have the heart to tell him I have lime green and turquoise in the kitchen and that one of the walls in the living room is going to be red. We were having fun now. Mister came around again and pulled out two more paint cans. Being nosy, we started looking at those colors. One was a fuschia and the other was called guava jam.
Me: Ooh, I like that one!

Mr P. finally handed Mister his partial door frame and Mister went off to do the color match. I think Mister was starting to get annoyed with us because we were having fun and he wasn't. As it was time for me to go, we introduced ourselves. My new friend's name is Paul. As I told him my name (several times so he could understand it) he told me it's a beautiful name.
"Thank you, Paul"

"It means.... a picture without compare."

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

moments of joy

Today, for whatever reason, the temperatures kept climbing into the high 80's (Fahrenheit) as the sun beamed down on us. I heard people complaining of the heat. I was in hog heaven! I was able to wear light cotton pants and a sleeveless shirt to work and not sit there freezing! Ah..happy sigh...

After work, I headed south to the Ventura Harbor and went kayaking. I've been canoeing many times, mostly in Florida, and was told kayaking is pretty much the same. Yes and no. The basic propulsion rules are the same, but I found the kayak responds much faster than a canoe. I also felt that the kayak was more likely to tip. This may have been just my impression but nonetheless... I quickly caught on and took about an hour to make the loop. It was fabulous--the hot sun, gliding over the cool water. Bliss. Finally, on my way home, I stopped at the beach and got some shots of the sun. It may not yet be Thanksgiving, but I am thankful for today. Tomorrow temps are expected to be back to normal (60s and 70s).

Starting out on the kayak, an old fishing boat
with the lighthouse in the background.

Heading down the waterway.

I think this is a Grebe. They were all over, but
they weren't letting me get too close, though.

Along the harbor, mussels were all over.

On a floating platform, empty mussel shells
lay scattered along with evidence of who
(or what) did this thing to them.

This wooden sailboat was amazing.

Further along, a huge shipping boat from
Alaska was hanging out, enjoying the sun!

At the bottom of one of the floating docks,
the setting sun lit the water underneath.

A great blue heron let me get close enough
to snap this shot as it swallowed a snack.
These birds never fail to awe me.

The day is done. Looking down at the harbor.

The kayak-man taking my boat out of the water.

Me and my shadow, at the beach.

Someone had set up a bunch of stones with labels
for different areas of the house written on them.

Down at the pier, a mom takes her
little one for a sunset walk.

Finally, the sun sets on a gorgeous day.

I hope you all had a good day.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


I just got back a little while ago and I am just plain exhausted. My new shelf is still in boxes against the wall. I just don't have the energy to put it together, not to mention I would probably need help as it's the larger Expedit bookcase and measures 72 7/8 x 72 7/8. Casualties of the neighbor H. smooshed her finger and I ran my toe over with the corner of the box as we were getting the boxes inside. The box won. Here are a few pics from the day...

Voila! The whole area around here
is very manicured and "prettified."
It reminded me of Disney.

And you guys thought I was extreme!!

My little car loaded down with both my
and H.'s purchases. She was amazed it all fit!

Passenger seat belts required for
anything weighing the same as a person!

Off to Ikea!

Today is the day! (happy dance..woohoo, woohoohooo...) I have a list. I have a goal. It's Ikea day!
Tips for myself...
1. bring the tape measure
2. bring the list (I would forget it at home)
3. wear comfy shoes
4. bring proper music for the drive
5. make sure junk cleared out of car
6. gas...yep filled up yesterday...
7. money! can't do much without that...
8. because, as Mouse says, there has to be an 8...

It's going to be a long day.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Prep week

So, tomorrow is my big trip to Ikea! Woohoo! I'm heading down with my neighbor H. and we are going shopping!! In preparation for this, since I am buying myself a big ol' bookshelf, I have finally gotten around to painting my apartment! One of the things I love is also one of the things that make painting so difficult...a vaulted ceiling. I have a slight fear of heights and falling. Here are some pics.

There's the ladder. There's the wall.
I really hope I do not fall.

What the hell was I thinking???

Not gonna fall.Not gonna fall. Notgonnafall.

If I can't be in the Caribbean,
I'll bring the Caribbean home.
(back wall still in progress)

and a picture of fluffy kitty for fun

Now, I'm off to shoot my prep week assignment. Class starts again Monday and I have work to do! Have a fabulous day!