pWdumaNjA-6CEEBhRoD5euxNETs When All This Actual Life Played Out: August 2017

25 August 2017

More a sigh than a scream


Skyline from Alcatraz
Alcatraz Island
14 August 2017

This week...

Mostly I do okay keeping quiet. But trust me, the rage.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D7000..
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22 August 2017

Missing


San Francisco, California
17 August 2017

When I'm traveling, I can blog remotely via email. I discovered this 6-ish years ago when the daughter and I went to NYC together. The problem is that I can send words or a photo--not both. Sure, I could edit it all later in the hotel, but I'm usually busy, sometimes just lazy, and it means carrying all my damn passwords around. And to be fair, sometimes I'm in the middle of the ocean relying on satellite. Aggravating as can be.

I usually go back and do some editing when I get home (or in the hotel, if I'm not lazy and am carrying all my passwords around), mostly watermarking anything that's attracting attention and adding some addenda, increasing photo size as necessary. Sometimes I tell the story behind the photo. One of my friends recently pointed out that this isn't necessarily useful since most people don't go back and look at what they've already looked at, especially if they're pulling the blog off the feed. Fair point.

In any event, after our March trip, the daughter and I wanted to go back to San Francisco, and the spouse was so intrigued by our stories that he wanted to go too. So we went back, on the train, back to Alcatraz, and to various points that we didn't get to last time or didn't have time to thoroughly explore.

We still didn't see everything we wanted to.

San Francisco is small, but it's all uphill. One day, the activity tracker on my phone triumphantly announced that I'd only walked about 15,000 steps, but that I'd climbed the equivalent of 40 stories. And yeah, that was the day that we hiked up to Coit Tower, and then up to the Fairmont Hotel.

It was a long day. Also? Ouch.

So, the photos.

Crusher was taken from the Coast Starlight as the sun was setting. I liked the play of the machinery against the clouds. Yay for my iPhone6.

Lost souls was taken at Alcatraz. That day was bitterly cold for August--50sF and windy. We got to the island early in the day, and with fewer people, it was easy to feel the desolation. There are a number of bird colonies on the island, and the gull babies were starting to fledge, but the parents were still in protection mode, which made the whole scene like something out of Hitchcock's The Birds.  The daughter kept saying she felt like the birds were the spirits of those once imprisoned there. Hooray again for the iPhone6 and Hipstamatic.

Sirens at noon was actually taken back in March, though I posted it the day we visited Coit Tower this trip. I'm a Cold War kid, and the escalation of bullshit between the (choose your expletive) in the White House and the (choose your expletive) across the Pacific caused me...I don't even know. Something between boundless distress and boundless rage. That sets the stage. So we were descending from Coit Tower, down the Greenwich Steps, and suddenly I heard a helicopter and a siren. A long siren. An air raid siren. I'm a Cold War kid. They tested the air raid sirens every Saturday of my childhood. I stopped on the steps and listened, blackness gathering in my chest. And waited. That endless wait for the voice that says what comes next. And finally, after an eternity: "This is a test." The daughter was well ahead of me and said a woman caught sight of her stricken face, and said something to the effect of "Oh, it happens every Tuesday." The whole event struck a nerve I didn't even know was buried in my soul. iPhone6 and Hipstamatic's Bucktown pack.

In a fairy land is Muir Woods early on an overcast morning. A visit spurred by a scene from Vertigo, but what an incredibly lovely place. It was cool and calm and the fragrance of the trees was marvelous. The lighting was challenging--no sun, white sky--but a random Hipstamatic combination made the most of the ambience.

Dissonance came out of one of those completely unexpected, completely off the wall moments that makes you sit back and say, "What?" It's something about the Palace of Fine Arts. Last time we visited, the daughter and I staggered in the back end after getting lost in the environs of Crissy Marsh, and were confronted with this utterly monolithic edifice. It was jaw dropping. And kind of awesome. This time, we came in the front end, and wandered all around the grounds, happily discovering there was a café on site. So we walked into the doors and found ourselves inside a hangar with these huge scary angels, play equipment and a little sort of shack that was the café. It was just...weird. And kind of awesome. And if you are familiar with Doctor Who's Weeping Angels...don't blink.

Giants is self-explanatory. Watched SF versus the Phillies. I have to say that the park beats Angels stadium 6 ways to Sunday. These were nose bleed seats and the sight lines were fabulous.

Mining town is also self-explanatory. Can you say Comstock Lode? Sure you can. We took the California Zephyr from San Francisco to Reno, and drove up to Virginia City. I have opinions about all of this, but less said...

Watching you watching me is a reference to Coppola's The Conversation, which is simply one of the creepiest movies I've ever seen. These buildings on the Embarcadero figure in the background of several scenes. While I was out on the hotel balcony taking photos, lights were going on and off inside this particular building and I could see the shadow of a person moving across the windows. S/he would pause, then move on, silhouetted by the lights automatically turning on as the person moved. Innocent no doubt, but eerie to watch.

Missing just made me sad. Bright works of art and a small piece of paper tacked between them. The colorful paintings aren't all what they seem, either. The family motif that is repeated in the center work is taken from the immigrant crossing signs on the freeway down around San Diego. Talk about freighted with meaning.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6, in some cases utilizing the Hipstamatic app. Artwork in Missing is not mine and the copyright belongs to respective holders.
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20 August 2017

Watching you watching me

 
San Francisco, California
15 August 2017
 

19 August 2017

Mining town

 
Outside Virginia City, Nevada
19 August 2017

18 August 2017

Giants

 
AT&T Park
San Francisco, California
18 August 2017

17 August 2017

Dissonance

 
Palace of Fine Arts
San Francisco, California
17 August 2017

16 August 2017

In a fairy land

 
Muir Woods National Monument
Marin County, California
16 August 2017

15 August 2017

Sirens at noon

 
Coit Tower
San Francisco, California
19 March 2017

14 August 2017

Lost souls

 
Alcatraz Island
14 August 2017

13 August 2017

Crusher

 
Somewhere south of San Francisco
13 August 2017

04 August 2017

Random access memory


Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York, New York
10 May 2011

Simply the thing itself.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.
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