Thursday, February 23, 2012

Charmed, I'm Sure

Charmed, I'm Sure

Mortal Muses theme for the week is "charm." I decided to take it seriously and photograph a charm bracelet I own. I never owned such a bracelet when young although my mom did. This one I bought at an antique store and I filed off some of the more appropriate charms (filing the jump rings with a small metal file--what a pain) to give on a more modern necklace to a young friend of mine. The bracelet is so not my style that I've never worn it but may use a few of the other (not too insipid) charms for other purposes.
The backgrounds are two vintage record albums I bought this past weekend at a thrift store. I have begun to enjoy the graphics after seeing a calendar of Alex Steinweiss album covers. As I become more vintage myself, I am appreciating even older items more and more.

Oriental Moods

Tuesday, February 21, 2012



I started a new photography class. It is only a five week class and already I wish it were longer. The theme is documentary photography which fascinates and terrifies me. I think the fascination is obvious but the fear? We have been assigned to do our own documentary project for over the next five weeks and the instructor prefers (strongly) that it involves people. I wracked my brain for a non-boring project that I thought could fly but have run into my essential shyness. To do this project I have to ask strangers to take their picture and follow them around for a month. Feeling literally shaky I sent an e-mail to the founder of the dance studio my son and I dance with but she hasn't responded. I imagine she is too busy or hasn't seen the note. I need to make some headway on this by Saturday so I now need to come up with an alternative plan. I can't tell you how stressed this is making me feel which is silly and pointless. I know this will be good for me in the long run but I want to hurry back to my pictures of empty buildings, trees and birds.


The pictures I've posted are from our first in-class assignment which was to take a series of pictures in the art center. The specifics were to take 6 pictures, of a wider perspective, a detailed perspective and a person. I even succeeded in getting a person to agree to my photographing him but my near shots came out blurred (I'm still getting used to this 50 mm lens). I do like my one intentionally blurred photo however.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Speaking of Postcards

Valentine's Greetings

Here's a belated one for Valentine's Day (which is generally ignored in my household).
Postmarked probably in 1902 and addressed to Mr. R.C. Kloss, Kent, ILL. No note is on the card.

For Postcard Friday.

Mail Geek

I feel like such a geek and one problem with being a geek as a kid is that your never get over the trauma of being thought a geek. Wow, did you know you could use the word geek three times in one run on sentence? I have been a letter writer since I was a kid. My grandmother, my favorite person in the whole wide world after my kids, saved my letters because she thought one day I'd be famous and they might be published. What a nice thought. I sure miss her. She used to have my first letter ever, in those giant letters you learned in kindergarten, taped to her closet mirror.
I wrote most regularly to my grandparents in California (at the time I lived in Seattle) and an assortment of letters and cards to other people.
While I lived in Paris in my senior year in college I sent a number of air letters (what ever happened to them?) to friends and family, especially my grandmother who had terminal breast cancer. I couldn't afford many phone calls home and those involved dropping all my loose change into a pay phone until my call ran out and was abruptly terminated. How much life has changed with cell phones, e-mail and Skype. Although I adored being in Paris it was lonely at times and I lived for letters from the States.
I stopped writing, and thereby lost a few friends including the couple of friends I made in France, as graduate/medical school began and I got bogged down in work and later family. Now I have regrets, but what can you do?
I am happy to find like-minded, extremely cool people (unlike me) who are trying to keep the postal service alive and keep the hand written letters moving. Postcrossing, and some letter-friendly bloggers net some letters and postcards from home and abroad. It sure beats bills and junk mail. It also gives me an excuse to buy odd postcards and the latest US postage stamps.
As to the images I've posted here, they are my thanks to thesnailmailer who enjoys seeing her letters posted and who sent me the above envelope and card which truly deserve being shared. I have to confess, I've never tried Jello-shots--geek that I a--but one good envelope deserves another. Speaking of alcohol, have you ever heard of bubble gum flavored vodka? Now that is really gross. Have a lovely weekend and write lots of letters.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Free Syria

Syria Protest copy

I was downtown on Saturday and happened on this protest march. The people carried flags and posters and chanted: "Free, free Syria." Good luck to them and others in finding political freedom.

Sunday, February 05, 2012


Lightbulb Moment

Or, you're never to old to do something new.
Today I changed some light bulbs. I know it doesn't sound like anything to brag about but these were on my car. Sad to say, I've been driving around for months with only one working headlamp on my car. This has annoyed my spouse to no end but not enough for him to get the bulb changed. Last night I was set to win the procrastinator of the year award when the second bulb gave up the ghost. Today being Sunday, of course no one was going to be able to service the car so I took the reins and Googled how to change a car light bulb. Next a search for an open auto supply store with the bulbs in stock and off I went hoping I wouldn't mistakenly buy the wrong product. Then for some time under the hood doing little praying that I wouldn't break something in my car. There were a few missteps--a dropped bulb, fingerprints on said bulb necessitating solvent to clean off the grease (as per instructions), some scrapes and grease on my hands--but things seemed to finally go through for the first bulb. But then the light still didn't work. Assuming I'd misconnected something, I looked more closely at the second light and changed that carefully. Still nothing. Finally, I figured out my mistake--I'd changed the high beams which were working, not the low beams. Feeling very glad no one was watching, I got back to work and replaced the other two light bulbs! Now my car has 4 working lights and I am, despite glitches, very proud of myself. And my family and I can drive to tonight's Super Bowl party safely.
In honor of "in the picture"--this month's theme "write on!" I commemorated the moment on my somewhat battered and greasy hands.

In The Picture

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Night Shots

We Buy Gold

Well, I got a bit stuck again after a good run at posting but last night I went out and looked for some neon to shoot. I find it hard to get the right amount of color, light and contrast on these shots but came up with a few that were at least satisfactory.

Buy One

The largely Hispanic neighborhood west of my house is great for finding neon signs. It also made me crave tacos as there were a lot of tasty looking restaurants in the area. Unfortunately, last week I had a similar craving for Mexican food and found a little taqueria. One burrito, many chips, and 10 hours later, I came down with a nasty bout of food poisoning. Long story short, no tacos for me last night.