pWdumaNjA-6CEEBhRoD5euxNETs When All This Actual Life Played Out: September 2010

30 September 2010

In the evening

The park
24 September 2010

She was so anxious to get out there and play.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40. The daughter did not like the way I blurred out the other girl's face the first time--I'm a fiend for privacy. Mine and everyone else's--so I had to go back and do it again. It's far less subtle now.

27 September 2010

Morning moon

Moon in the morning
27 September 2010

I woke up way too early this morning...before 5 am. Since I couldn't sleep, I got up and made up breakfasts, and did the usual putting together of lunches. After dropping the son off at the bus stop, I dragged the telephoto lens back out, and sat on the front steps, photographing the moon as it was setting.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40. It looks weirdly fake! But this is strictly unretouched, but for cropping and painting out a bit of dirt on the lens. Settings were auto, too.

25 September 2010

New shoelaces

25 September 2010

There is no doubt whatsoever that this kid is my daughter. If it weren't for the shoe thing, it would be everything else: the stubbornness, the wandering to the beat of one's own drummer, the dogged determination to be one's own person, whatever the cost. And besides all that, everyone tells me she looks just like me (I have trouble seeing the resemblance, to be honest).

So, let's start with the shoes. She likes Converse (we both do. Surprise!), and last weekend when I took her shopping, she saw these on sale at Nordstrom. They were $20 and she needed a pair of casual shoes that fit, so I let her buy them.

Then there was the Rush swag. I travel light, and generally avoid merch tables, especially when I know I can get the stuff through the online store, and then, I'm not trying to keep my program out of someone's beer. In Pittsburgh, I did take a good long look at what was on offer, but a lot of the good stuff was sold out and I knew that whatever I got the kids would be the wrong thing, so I let them pick out their shirts when I got home.

(They LOVE band t-shirts. I, on the other hand, like buying t-shirts and never wearing them. I do this quite well. In fact, I just gave up my Icelandic Killer Sheep shirt to the boy, who promptly wore it to Muse to great effect.)


The daughter chose her shirt (none of those girly things for her, thank you!), and then found the shoelaces. Instant covetousness. Playing the role of the nice mom, I let her have those, too.

Then the wait began. Every day, the question from one child or the other: when is the Rush stuff going to get here? Finally, lovely George the Postman bashed on the doorbell today.

Instant shoelace overhaul.

Pure joy.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

24 September 2010

In praise of crummy cell phone cameras

Honda Center/The Pond of Anaheim
23 September 2010

I'm the first to admit that I didn't buy my cell phone for its camera. In fact, I didn't even buy it. It came free with the contract. And even though I've been out of contract for years (which evidently gives Verizon a small coronary every time they realize it because I'm constantly inundated with "upgrade your phone!" messages), I can't be bothered to do anything about it. Because, really, my phone is for making phone calls. When I feel like it. When I bother to turn it on.

So why did I even bother taking this at last night's Muse show? You can see three little glowing figures atop their pedestals and a lot of light (actually this is pretty deceptive. We were quite close to the side of the stage, and it was really a good vantage point).

Because I felt like it.

Edited to add: Ahem. Please note the tongue-firmly-lodged-in-cheek nature of this post. I am not in the habit of taking photos at concerts, and we actively make fun of those who take photos of themselves with the band in the background.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nokia 6215i cell phone. Why spend the money on an iPhone when I can get utterly crap photos for free?!

22 September 2010

Summer afternoon in Hyde Park

London, England
15 July 2008

If you ask my children, I am utterly sadistic when it comes to traveling to Europe: I make sure that we arrive during the day, and I won't let them sleep when we get there. The daughter still remembers with a mixture of chagrin and joy how much fun she and I had exploring Amsterdam's floating flower market upon arrival in 2006 even if she was tired. Well, our arrival in London was much the same. We got to our hotel, had lunch and I dragged them on foot to nearby Hyde Park. There was a certain amount of moaning as I marched them from one end of the park to the other and then over to Kensington Gardens and the Albert Memorial. Of course, the best thing ever was to be found at the memorial: an ice cream kiosk. Possibly the most expensive ice cream ever, but in their book, the most perfect and memorable ice cream, and worth tramping all over to get.

It was such a lovely day, warm and bright. I liked Hyde Park because it seemed so normal. People going about their business, enjoying the warmth, sitting on benches, walking about, reading books, eating ice cream.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

21 September 2010

And the master bathroom sleeps four!

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
16 September 2010

No, actually, I'm not in the habit of photographing hotel rooms, and even less, their bathrooms. But I'm back into the planning stages of demolishing two of ours, so ideas are always good. The suite actually had would have been a great place to stay when we were traveling this summer. Even a suite (and we stayed in a few) rarely has more than one bathroom, and more is better with teenagers.

Pittsburgh definitely had a fun factor...especially if the emails I'm getting about coffee-making en déshabillé are any indication. More Pittsburgh stories over at Out of the Kitchen and no, there is no elaboration on the above. What else would you need to know?!

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

20 September 2010

A design don't

Columbus, Ohio
29 August 2010

When I'm out romping around the known universe on my own, I keep an eye out for the local geology, mostly for the spouse's amusement. Often, a good way to find indigenous stuff is in old buildings.

Someone had a field day with this structure. Brick going off in fanciful directions (take a look at the upper right hand corner of the photo), and then, those lintels. Not wood, but sandstone. They tried to get fancy with the stained glass to pull in the golden brown of the sandstone, but the brick color was so brick and non-neutral that it's just one clash of color and design after another.

I walked around and around this building, trying to figure out what exactly was going on. Was it misplaced ebullience? Architectural revenge?

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40. We have a friend who is an architect, and the temptation is great to make a framed print of this for him.

18 September 2010


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
16 September 2010

The view from my hotel room window. One of the many floor to ceiling windows that wrapped around the freaking enormous suite that I somehow ended up occupying. The very sweet young woman who checked me in the night before announced that I'd been upgraded (why?) and then here I was in this place that was larger than my first apartment.

I think I'll decline to tell the story of how I ended up completely unclothed in front of the same windows with every light in the place on...I don't normally make coffee in a state of complete undress. God knows what I was thinking. Or even if I was.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40. Actually, the thinking ran along the lines of "If I make the coffee while I shower, it will be done when I'm done...oh my God, ALL THE DRAPES ARE OPEN!" And the spouse is standing here laughing because apparently I'm blushing violently as I recount the story.

17 September 2010

Roberto Clemente Bridge

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
16 September 2010

I'd never been to Pittsburgh--I'm not sure I'd ever been to Pennsylvania--and my very talkative driver told me a lot about the city en route from the airport. I didn't know about the bridges, nor did I know that one had been named for the Pirates late great player, Roberto Clemente. Interestingly, on the pylon across the street from where I took this, there are two plaques. One commemorates Clemente; the other notes that the American Institute of Steel Construction honored this particular bridge with its Annual Award of Merit for Most Beautiful Steel Bridge in 1928.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40. Why yes, it was raining.

13 September 2010


Jätkänkynttilä Bridge
Rovaniemi, Finland
27 June 2006

One of the reasons that we go charging around the known universe is to learn where to return. I have every intention of going back to Rovaniemi, preferably in the winter. It's quite beautiful, and I'd really like to explore it, away from the tourist areas, of which I saw plenty. I've only seen the aurora borealis from an airplane--spectacular enough, certainly--but I'd like to be in a place where I can just watch it. I think this could be that place.

Tech stuff: Taken with a Canon PowerShot S110. I like Finland and have been there a few times under wildly different circumstances.

12 September 2010

Why yes, I DO own the road

Road construction
3 November 2004

Road construction. A necessary evil. I get that. It's just that the brain trusts that run Orange County tend to make it so unnecessarily evil.

Anyway, as you can see, there is a sign on the sidewalk. Also there is nothing actually happening on the sidewalk. As for "use other side?" There is no other side. It's a hillside. The "no right turn?" Sure, it's a bad idea to turn right into a hillside...

Tech stuff: Taken with a Canon PowerShot S110. No, I don't wake up in the morning with the intent to be a complete PitA. But every time these guys said they were done with this stretch of road, I'd go running only to suddenly find them back.

10 September 2010

Stories for girls and boys

10 September 2010

She wanted The Left Hand of Darkness. I pulled it off the shelf. Then the son asked for No Exit and Waiting for Godot. I handed them over.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40, ambient light, no flash. Mam'selle was most annoyed.

08 September 2010

Change of season

Getty Center
Brentwood, California
6 April 2010

I took this in the early spring. Here we are at the close of summer.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

07 September 2010

And for my 101st post on this blog...

The Itsy Bitsy Spider
7 September 2010

The daughter and I were having a Serious Conversation when I spotted this green lynx spider. Of course, I was all, Oh cool! Must photograph!

The spider was small, maybe an inch and a half, legs inclusive. Then I popped it up on my gigantic computer screen and said, "EWWWWWWWWW!"

Seriously, creepiest thing ever.

How brave I am.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40. Such mad macro skillz. *roll eyes*

06 September 2010

The sculpture park

Vigeland Sculpture Park
Oslo, Norway
8 July 2006

I sometimes forget that I first visited in Oslo in 2006. That trip tends to be overshadowed by the subsequent tour when I was able to see a lot more of Norway, go hiking, visit with Norwegian cats and obsess over tiny apple orchards in the Setesdal Valley. Of course, I've never forgotten my first glimpse of Norway, which came more than 20 years earlier when I stared down on the hard white landscape from a Finnair jet en route to Moscow.

On that first visit, we spent considerable time in the Viking Ship Museum, but also in this park, which features more than 200 sculptures by Gustav Vigeland. The park has multiple sections, each carrying out variations on the theme of humans' journey through life. Not something I ever think much about.

Tech stuff: Taken with a Canon PowerShot S110.

04 September 2010

Station sunset

Sunset with smoke cloud
28 August 2009

It's hard to believe that it's only been a year since the Station Fire set about consuming the Angeles National Forest. I think that I downplayed the fact that my in-laws were driving me to distraction by evacuating, and then going home again. My MIL was gleefully sending me photographs of the chaos around the golf course.

She'll outlive me for sure.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

02 September 2010

Rock drawings

Little Petroglyph Canyon
Near Ridgecrest, California
November 1986

Unfortunately, the original photograph is better than the scan by far. The photo was printed on matte paper that is textured, and the scanner reflected back bits of the texture.

This canyon, also known as Renegade Canyon, is located at China Lake near Ridgecrest, and the only way to see the petroglyphs is to sign up for the tours that are offered in the spring and fall.

It's an interesting little hike.

Tech stuff: Taken with a dreadful Kodak point and shoot that gave a remarkably good result, paper notwithstanding. I like this photo and always have done, but the memory of this trip is not a good one. Funny.

01 September 2010

Because I liked it

Columbus, Ohio
29 August 2010

I've never owned a Ford. It's possible that I've never even driven a Ford. Still, the facade made me smile.

(And yes, there is an accidental artifact in there. I won't tell you what or where...not that hard to find, really, but I didn't catch it until I'd loaded the photos on to my giant computer monitor.)

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40. And no, the building appears to have nothing to do at all with Ford now.