Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Are You Done Yet?

August 26, 2015

Yes and no.

It was with some relief that I sent off my last two papers.

Thus the culmination of having arrived at the point where I could say, yes!  Bring on the Burning Man.

Except.

Well.

There’s more to do.

Argh.

I realized that I will have to stay up to par with my reading, all the reading that needs to be done for the first weekend of school–really, my first week at school on campus–which is the weekend after I get back from Burning Man.

It already feels like I have been doing school work for a month.

Which I have.

The reading, the papers that were due before the retreat, the retreat, the catching up on reading, the getting here, to Glen Ellen for work, working, back to SF, then back to Glen Ellen, more working, then more reading, the writing of all the papers.

In toto: 5 papers.

A ten page paper.

A seven page paper.

An eight page paper.

A short one page creative brief.

And another two page reflection paper.

The last two papers I did this evening and it was in the process of looking over the syllabus that I discovered, god damn it Professor Kich! That I had another paper due that was a reflection paper (similar to the one he had my class do previous to arriving at the retreat) in regards to the reading that needs to be done for the class that opening weekend on campus.

And if he’s got reading, you can be sure that there is other reading that I have to do.

I felt instantly deflated.

As though none of the work I had done was worth it, that I was constantly going to be doing work, the work, it never stops.

Then, I reflected, of course I’m going to feel this way, I’m in graduate school and the work is not going to stop.

At least not for the next three years.

That’s the deal.

That’s the reality.

So.

Don’t bemoan what there is left to do.

Just get to it.

I did what I could.

I felt a little blown out from the big paper writing last night and it took me a moment to get into the papers tonight.

But I did.

And I had done some reading, just a half hour, while on my break while the family went for a hike in the Jack London National Woods, this afternoon as well as another hour and some change this evening after finishing the two small papers.

I had seen the Kich assignment when I was reviewing my reading this afternoon, but it didn’t really sink in until I sat down later in the evening to do the last of the papers.

Despite feeling like I was getting off the work in a reasonable time, way ahead of schedule I felt almost immediate panic at the thought of having to stay on top of the reading for the upcoming session.

The thing is, I remind myself, I have done a hell of a lot of work since the end of the retreat and I have caught up on the reading and surpassed what I need to read for one of my classes.

Granted, one of my classes the god damn reader is not available for it.

Damn it Dubitzky!

Get it together.

I’m sure it’s not the professor’s fault, the reader can’t be printed yet because there are some sort of copy write issues happening with it, royalties haven’t been paid or something of the like.

I haven’t even looked at the syllabus for the class.

I know there are other readings for it and I will explore those when I can.

I can also take care of doing some reading tomorrow as well as when I get back.

I’m not taking my books with me.

Although it is a definite consideration.

But I have been to Burning Man enough times to know that I won’t read there.

Not the way I am going this year.

I am not going to be stuck, isolated from the rest of the event, with the exception of going to the commissary three times a day.

I knew there was something wrong with my last couple of burns when the highlight of my day was going to the commissary so that I could interact with people.

I will not be that isolated this year and I am allowing myself the freedom to play and play as much as I can.

Which does not mean in the conventional sense of the word, I’m not going to be imbibing in extracurricular substances or drinking or partying in the common parlance of the saying, “work hard, play hard.”

NOPE.

Rather, my play hard will be dressing up, drinking loads of coffee, wearing fun makeup, sticking too many flowers in my hot pink hair, dancing without a care in the world like no one is watching, even if they are, bicycling across the playa, hanging out with friends at camp, going to do the deal in my favorite village, visiting Camp Stella and Run Free, having reunions, making new friends, making out, there has to be making out, I deserve (and need, frankly, need it at this point) to be kissed, and kissed well, more dancing, late night walks under the stars in deep playa, looking at art, playing with art, singing, giving hand massages, connecting with people, those I love and those I haven’t yet met but know I will love, connecting with my favorite little person who is not so little anymore, rides on art cars, snuggling in furry blankets, seeing fire art, FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!

Oh there will be playing.

And there will not be blogging.

Yup.

You heard it here first.

I have decided, officially, to not take my laptop.

I cannot afford to damage it and I want to have an unplugged experience.

My phone will go with me and I will use it for photos and I will also have my Fuji camera on hand, there will be much photography.

But I won’t be blogging or logging on to the internet out there.

I won’t be reading or writing papers.

I will be having fun.

I will allow myself this.

I will not take on extra.

I will be of service to my community.

But I will not sacrifice myself and my experience any longer.

It’s time for me to go to Burning Man.

Really go.

So whatever reading doesn’t get done.

So be it.

I’m doing good.

I’m ahead of the curve, I’m not going to sabotage myself or my experience.

I am going to have fun.

If it fucking kills me.

I jest.

A little.

Sunday Self Service

November 10, 2014

Down by the sea.

Yes.

That means what you think it means.

At least Mister Sexy has given me a head full of fantasy and as I was told yesterday, “maybe this is just an experience you get to have to see that you have that depth of passion within you.”

Maybe.

Passion needed outlet.

Done and done.

Then.

HOT shower.

There is just something about a hot shower.

So good.

This blog could also be called, Sunday Surfers, Sand Castles, and Shadows.

Sand Castles

Sand Castles

Surfer

Surf’s Up!

Sunset

Sunset

There were a lot of surfers out at the beach this afternoon, they all got the memo, the surf is great, the fog is lifting, get it before it’s gone.

The sets looked spectacular and I watched surfer after surfer scooting down to the shore with their wet suits draped in various stages of disarray as they hurried to catch the set before the sun was gone.

And the fog rolled back in.

LIfting Fog

LIfting Fog

Settling Fog

Settling Fog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I too was one of the locals making a mad dash for the waterfront.  I had been in a hazy foggy day almost all day, when the sun poked through I knew I had to get myself outside.

Bicycle rides to go grocery shopping, no matter how delirious the setting (which today was not so much, the fog was tightly socked into the shore and dense and grey, blocking out anything visible, except for the sound of the fog horns which seemed to shiver the clouds wafting inland), does not count as a getting outside situation.

Granted, it is really nice to have a couple of good markets close by and I got what I needed before my noon appointment at the house for tea and reading.

After the hour I spent the afternoon having a leisurely lunch and cooking up some food for the week.

“What is that smell, oh my God, it smells so good!”  My housemate exclaimed when she got home from work.

Italian white bean stew with black olives, onion, garlic, chicken, crushed tomatoes, spices.  Big pot of brown rice. Voila.

Food for the week.

And for dinner tonight.

Plus, of course, the  persimmon (currently riding the trend of raw cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt–sliced thinly and dredged through the spice mix with a hot cup of tea. YUM!) in stacks on the counter.

They won’t be in season much longer and I am stockpiling.

I could have a third title to my blog–Scooteria Sunday–all things alliterative please.

I saw a friend last night up in Noe Valley who recently got a scooter and he’s pretty handy with the tool box, he mentioned that he might be able to give me a hand with my scooter.

Last night was not a fun commuting night for me.

The scooter kept dying.

At one point it fizzled out on Diamond as I was coming up to a stop sign.

The hill was so steep where I was that I was afraid to let go the brake to give it gas to let out the clutch, to fuck me, I’m going to drop it, so I turned the handle bars and let it die, then pushed it over to the sidewalk and up the top of the hill.

Pushing a scooter up a hill is vastly different from a bicycle in case you were wondering.

It was frustrating.

Fortunate for me I was not that far from the top of the hill and I was able to restart and regroup and get back on.

But.

It happened again and again.

And again.

The Vespa probably died on me seven or eight times.

Possibly more, I really lost track.

My friend had a hypothesis that the idle needed to be set a little higher and I agreed with that summary.

I had some plans to get out and about on it today, but between how it was last night and the fog, I was against pulling it out and doing a thing.

Then, the late afternoon sun cut the fog and called me beachward.

I walked collecting seashells and talking to my mom on the phone about her recent hip replacement surgery and how her recovery was going.

I like calling mom from the beach, my toes in the surf, the sun flaming behind me, the surfers running into the water, the salt licking its way into my heart, I am a fire sign, perhaps that tempering once a week of salt water does it for me.

Heals me.

Sears my heart out a little.

It’s good stuff.

Self-portrait

Selfie by the Sea

I really do feel so much better with the sound of the surf in my ears, it drowns out the crap in my head and provides tender moments of blissful quiet that reinvigorate me like nothing else.

I have taken to calling my walks down there Sunday Service by the Sea.

I get right with God.

I take some photographs.

I see a friend.

Last week a friend joined me for a picnic and conversation on a blanket when the weather was sublime and it would have been a grave tragedy to not have taken my sacrament.

This Sunday I was walking blithely, watching the shore for shells, when I heard the little whistle of an incoming message.

Was I around?

Do I still want help with the scooter?

Yes!

Yes!

Yes please.

I scampered up the beach and exited at the end of Judah and Great Highway, he was across the street on his scooter hanging out in front of Java Beach.

We hugged, caught up and then hit it to my house.

He adjusted the idle and tightened the cable on the clutch.

It was like riding a new vehicle.

So pleased.

So taken care of.

The last title to my blog?

In the alliterative fashion I have composed–Sunday Surprise!

It’s been a weekend of gifts–clarity being the greatest one, then a surprise check from my little girl Thursday’s family for my services to them, a bottle of perfume from a friend today, so not expecting that, and a new book in the mail!  A surprise gift from another friend, who though we both live in San Francisco, at opposite ends of the city we don’t frequently get to hang out.  It was a darling thing to see a package for me in the foyer when I got home tonight.

Anne Lamott–Bird by Bird; Some Instructions on Writing and Life.

I could always use that.

Instructions, that is.

Sunday seems surplus with surprise, sunshine (unexpected), seashore, shells, surfers, self-care, soup, sublime splendor, and love.

Yeah.

I know love is not alliterative.

But when did it ever follow the rules?

How’s The Ankle

September 6, 2014

My friend asked.

Fine.

Bullshit.

Takes one to know one.

That’s what I love about my friends, they call me on my bullshit.

My friend called mine, supplied be with some ibuprofen and a chair to rest the ankle on, a bag of frozen peas; the more things change the more they stay the same.

The place.

The location.

A little different.

An opposite coast.

But me?

Still stubborn, still doing just fine, no, don’t worry about me, I got this.

Sort of.

Not really, but let’s pretend, shall we.

I don’t know what’s going to happen when I get back to San Francisco, but then again, when do I?  I will have an interview on Monday at 4 p.m. that I set up prior to getting on a jet plane and traveling from one coast to the other.

I spoke with the admission department at CIIS about enrolling for the fall 2015 semester, right before I hopped on the N-Judah to take the MUNI to the BART to the SFO to the JFK to the Airtrain to the subway to the Jamaica Line to Myrtle Ave Stop on Broadway, then up some flights of steps with all my gear because my friend wanted to show me the view from the rooftop.

It was a pretty good view.

I had a pretty good day.

Ate lots of good food.

Omelet and salad for breakfast with really good iced coffee out of a Mason jar on Broadway Ave.

Lunch was a lobster roll and a pickle, no bun, thanks.

Snack?

But of course.

A dozen oysters, Malpeques, on the half shell with fresh squeezed lemon.

Dinner–at a top notch, and busy as fuck, little Korean spot in Manhatten, bibimpop, edamame, sushi, kimchi, seaweed, tasty, tasty, tasty.

And in between the walking.

And the art.

I can know take the Metropolitan Museum of Art officially off my list of museums I wish to yet see.

I got good and art high.

I bought some postcards.

I bought a refrigerator magnet from a photography exhibit I really got into, Garry Winogrand.

Winogrand

Wise saying from Winogrand

I quite enjoyed my walking about the museum and the city, even if it was at the cost of a tender ankle and a little sleepless wonky’ness on my end.

It was a long day yesterday with the travel, but once I got to my destination (having the obligatory random encounter with a semi-drunk foreign man on the subway at 1:45 in the a.m. about my tattoos and whether or not I knew which stop to get off at, I do, and please, no assistance needed, and yes, thanks, I like my tattoos too) it was too much to just plop right into bed.

We sat on the roof and watched the trains running by through Brooklyn, the night sky smudged above with grey and the bouncing of lights from the city reflecting back down, the Chrysler building across the water, and the lights of the horizon, winking and blinking at us in the warm, humid air.

Train Tracks

Train Tracks

I knew it was time for bed, the yawning was constant, but the air warm, the company grand, and the hours, they did slip past.

I am sure the hours they shall slide past tomorrow as well.

I am seeing another friend in the early afternoon in the city for a couple of hours, down by Union Square, then back with my host.

I am not certain what we are doing.

We will walk the Williamsburg Bridge an holler out, I suspect, song lyrics from fond memory.

We will eat ourselves some good rare, yes I said rare, steak at Peter Luger’s.

We will not go to the top of the Empire State Building.

Because we did that between an oyster appetizer at Wild Edibles and Sea Food Bar and dinner at Wonjo, a Korean restaurant that was off the hook.

It was well worth the $46 to go to the top of the building.

Though, suffice to say, either of us would have been just fine with the observation deck on the 86th floor–it was an open air terrace, versus the enclosed little mezzanine around the 102nd floor.  Although, it was pretty cool to see that we had ascended, in a high-speed Otis elevator, to 1250 feet into the air.

The view, well, it wasn’t too bad, you could say.

Skyline

Skyline

Empire State Building

Lights

Rushing about

Rushing about

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The vertigo was pretty intense too.

“Here, give me your glasses,” my friend admonished, as I shoved them off my face so I could smash my camera viewfinder to my eye and frame my shot.

Friends.

They take care of you and watch out for you and invite you into their lives, good, bad, ugly, beautiful, painful, all of it and accept you in your silliness, sadness, and foolishness too.

They give you props for leaping and bags of frozen peas when you’ve pushed too hard.

I still have some friend time with the city of New York and my good friend who is hosting me.  I still have time to see more and be more and try harder.

You know.

I just have to keep trying harder.

I have so many friends to live up to.

To write for.

I just jotted out a few postcards too as I was editing the photographs I took today, over 135 shots and think I pulled sixteen decent ones and maybe three good ones.

That’s how it goes, I know that, I just keep trying.

I will keep trying to find the way, through the canyons of city lights and the melody of music seeping under the door, easing out into the hot humid night air to slither down Myrtle Avenue on a late summer night in Brooklyn.

It’s nice to meet you New York.

Thanks for having me.

Let’s be friends.

How About The I am Tired Blog

May 30, 2014

Yeah.

I know, that doesn’t sound really tantalizing, now does it?

Doesn’t really give the reader anything to sink their teeth into, but as I am sitting here scratching my head over what to write all I am doing is procrastinating getting this blog started, so better a bad title then no title at all.

If I can just get into the meat of the motion, get into the action of doing something, than something will come out of the process.

It’s the action.

It’s not the thinking.

I can’t think my way out of a paper bag.

I am like a cat.

Content to sit still and pretend that no one sees me or hears me, nothing in this brown paper sack, move on, twitch, twitch, twitch, swat.

I am a bit more noticeable than that I suppose.

“Look at your blond hair!” She said to me in parting, as we went out ways, she back to Moss Beach, me to 7th and Irving.

Blond now.

Pink tomorrow.

Purple too.

Not exactly tomorrow, but Saturday.

That’s about it, that’s what I was thinking, how can I write a blog about my hair, aren’t I done writing about my hair.

Aren’t I done thinking about myself?

Who’s going to date a girl with purple and pink and blonde hair?

What will they, the infamous they, think of me when I got to Wisconsin for a visit.

Who the fuck cares?

I was also thinking about what I want to submit to the Burning Man blog.

I have been thinking for a while that I should send them one of my blogs about being a nanny on playa, perhaps a kick in the butt to work on a book proposal that I have been thinking about for years.

Again, it’s the taking of action that saves me, not the thinking.

I went into my archives and I have to say.

Fuck, I am a better writer than I was four years ago.

Hell, I am a better writer than I was last year.

The constant daily practice has honed a voice and a style that I have for the writing.

It is spare and direct and concrete.

My imagery is better.

My metaphors better.

My phrasing much better.

The essence is still there, but I couldn’t really read what I wrote.

I realized that if I did submit something to the Burning Man community, a dry run, I suppose for the project, that I would have to rewrite what I wrote.

I would do a new piece.

And that tired me right the fuck out.

I got up and made a cup of tea and decided that I had nothing further to say about it, that it was a stupid idea and who the hell wants to read about adventures in nannying on the playa.

Is there a way to be of service, to share my experience and move forward a community idea or am I just self-aggrandizing: look what I do, aren’t I special?

I am not too sure.

I suppose it’s just that I can see photographs in my head and I would like to have a collective space for them all in one piece.

Ah.

That could be the start.

I could do a photography essay.

That could be the way to go.

I could simply gather all the best photographs that I have taken and put them together.

I don’t have to ask for others photographs, I could use the ones I have in my own photo archives, then seeing the overarching picture I can write the story.

Really the story comes down to how I learned to let myself be more my authentic self by being a nanny at Burning Man.

“You were hiding your Mary Poppins in the closet,” a friend of mine said when I told him that I had been considering toning down who I am and how I dress in regards to a position that was being offered to me.

A position I did not end up taking, but it did allow me to see that indeed I was worried about the clothes I would have to wear.

Would I suddenly be raiding the racks of the mundane, or would I allow myself to flower and bloom and wear pink and glitter and sequins and bedazzle myself at work?

I choose flower.

I am grateful my families are all Burning Man families.

They have all gone to the event.

They have photographs of their experiences there.

They are themselves.

“You’re like Mary Fucking Poppins with tattoos,” a mom, another Burner,yes, said to me last year, and there it was my playa name, after many years of just going by my own name, my own little playa handle was given to me.

I do like to carry an umbrella with me on playa, it’s a great portable shade structure.

I just looked up and saw a polaroid a participant took of me and the little girl that sparked the entire Burning Man nanny gig, the year is 2010, I am wearing dusty blue jeans, cowboy boots, a green tank top, a ruffled apron and huge sunglasses, my tattoos are in full affect, my hair is cropped short and spiky, faux hawk that year, and I have my polka dot umbrella open sheltering my little girl charge from the sun, her hair is in multitude of braids that I spent hours on and she’s got a dusty bandana wrapped around her neck, a sundress on, little red crocs and white ankle socks, she’s sucking on an orange Mister Freeze Pop.

The photo behind that is her in a pink tutu and her mom’s oversized sunglass and me sitting next to her in polka dot tights and my own huge sunglasses.

Not only has the experience of being a nanny at Burning Man helped me to find my inner Mary Poppins, it has also shown me how to better take care of myself so that in turn I can do my job, which is caring for a small child in some very extreme weather conditions.

At the heart of it I learned to love myself because I was employed to love a child.

That is the essence of my Burning Man nanny story.

And that is a service I can do for others.

Go out there, doesn’t have to be Black Rock City, it can just be out in your community, where ever you are finding your niche, and explore yourself, find out what makes you tick and how you love and allow yourself to be that person.

Mary Fucking Poppins.

Or

Fire spinner.

I don’t know, I can’t tell your story.

Only mine.

And mine is going to start with compiling those photographs in one spot and seeing what I come up with.

See, that’s all it took.

Start writing and the answers come.

And I am not so tired any more.

Funny that.

Poppins

MF Poppins

 

Perched Atop A Yoga Ball

December 7, 2013

High above the city.

Up in the Castro hills this evening doing a nanny gig.

I am sitting very proper and correct with the stunning view of the downtown twinkling and winking and sparkling out the balcony window.

They do have one hell of a view up here.

And a large screen monitor with a remote keyboard hooked to the internet.

No hunching over my laptop today on my non-ergonomic table and borrowed chair.

I have to get a better set up at the house.

I was doing my morning pages today and I could feel the shoulder starting to sing and I believe that it is definitely exacerbated by the writing, which, fuck me, though it don’t pay the bills, yet, I still love to do.

Am compelled to do.

“You may only write for the joy of writing, you may never make money at it and you will count yourself as lucky that you give yourself the space to do it.”

Yes, ma’am.

You are entirely correct.

Which reminded me, that and the back and forth shop talk with a friend back in Wisconsin who has been sending me drafts of a short story he’s been working on, that I need to submit again to the Bastille before the dead line is up.

They contacted me about submissions and I have been meaning to send them something, if only to say that I am published a second time in Paris, despite not currently being in Paris.

The pay for the short I submitted was to see my own name in print and a free copy of the journal.

But hey, like I told my friend, I can say for ever and always that my first short story was published in a Paris literary journal.

Can’t really sneeze at that.

Nope.

I am going to not only submit another story, but I am going to send them some photographs.

The solicit for materials mentioned photographs, and well, I took a few when I was there.

Grateful over and over and over again that I took so many.

Grateful too that I Instagramed a bunch, not even 1% of what I took ended up on Instagram, but a few did and as I randomly scrolled through the photos  I put up today on my wanders through the Castro and the Mission, I drifted down my own feed and saw them and remembered exactly where I was when.

The rain, the light, the cobblestones slick and shiny, the tower, the staircases in the Montmartre, Christmas Eve climbing up them to Sacre Coeur for midnight mass, all the street graffiti and paste art, the street lamps, the shadows of snow fall, the cafe chairs and tables at closing time, Odette & Aime.

Oh, I took some photographs.

I will be taking more.

It’s a great hobby to have for me.

I would actually be adding a few into the mix with this blog were I writing it at home, but I don’t want to download my photos to the computer here.  And I don’t want to wait until I get home to write my blog, I am working until 11:30 or midnight, depending.

I got here at 11:30a.m.

I did get a big break in between.

Enough time to get over to 2900 24th Street and catch up with my people for an hour.

Enough time to get soaked riding my bicycle in the rain.

Enough time to sit and have a nice dinner with myself and the last few chapters of Clockers at Herbivore, was craving the Mexican beans and rice.

Enough time to pop over to Valencia and 18th and go up to Arin Fishkin’s open studio, give the artist a hug, give the kid a hug, give the hubby a hug, scratch the dog, check out the new prints, awesome, then back out the door, into the wet and rain and back up the hill to the spot here.

I walked my bike.

I had just enough time to do so.

I wasn’t really into getting on it again with the rain falling  heavier and the happy hour segue into the late dinner and cocktail hour, the taxi’s getting flagged, the people jumping in and out of traffic with umbrellas, the slick streets.

I opted to just walk.

Got here wet and soggy, but they have a dryer and all my layers are nice and toasty now and I have to say, this is rather a fun experience, listening to some excellent electronica mix of the dads on the computer (he’s a professional dj amongst other talents and has a fantastic music library), writing on top of the yoga ball.

It is down pouring right now and though it may disperse by the time they get back, the weather is cold, the wind is growly, and I don’t have any desire to get on my bicycle and brave the storm.

No freaking way.

I am either getting a ride out to the beach from the dad or calling a friend who happens to drive taxi, I already checked to see if he had a vehicle that I could toss a bicycle into the back of, I asked the parents to pay me out for the week partially in cash in case I have to hit the taxi.

Then the next two days off.

I have tentative plans to go surfing, but not sure what this weather is going to be doing.

I also just found out that 2ManyDjs are playing at Mighty tomorrow night for the clubs’ 10 year anniversary.

First, how is it ten years?

Damn, Gina.

I remember going to the club when it first opened.

I was there a lot for a while, it was part of my mix–DNA Lounge, The End Up, 1015, Mighty–you could say I like the dancing, jah.

The posting I saw said sold out, but if I could get tickets I would be there in a heart beat.

The last time I saw them was at the Mezzanine just a bit over 9 years ago.

I danced so hard.

I might have had some extracurriculars in my system, ahem.

But they really are an amazing group.

They played New Years Eve in Paris, but I was working.

I am not working tomorrow night and I would love to see them.

I have a couple of commitments to attend to in Noe Valley, but after that, nada.

Well, as the rain continues to fall I will continue to be grateful that I am currently dry and my work week is just about over.

Working it out, holding on, grooving to the good life.

My, my, my, it is a good life.

Color Me Changed

September 29, 2013

I did two things today that were completely outside my comfort zone.

To do one thing that I really wanted to do.

I, first, turned down tickets to the Opera and two, I turned down a nanny gig this evening.

Why?

I wanted to take myself to the beach and watch the sunset.

Yeah, I know, craven hooker, what was I thinking?

Ocean Beach

Sunset

Apparently I was thinking that I needed to do for myself.

Yeah, I want work shifts, but I just came off five days, including a double and two night shifts, in a row and I have an interview tomorrow.  I want to be fresh for that and I needed a day, and a night off.

Turning down the opera tickets was a little harder, but I was not prepared to head toward the downtown area when it came in.

I had dinner in the oven and was in the Inner Sunset at 7th and Irving just finishing up with my fellows.

I needed to get back to take it out of the oven, eat it, and well, I really did want to go down to the beach and walk by the tides and see the sun go down in my part of the world.

I was not disappointed with this decision.

I was immediately grateful when I walked out to Judah and saw the sun pitching itself into the ocean and the light was already spectacular on the N-Judah train tracks.

Train Tracks

Train Tracks

I hustled down the side walk listening to the sounds of Ocean Beach at sunset.

There were the rapid voices of a Chinese church community having it’s Saturday night dinner and I could hear ping pong balls being hit and children’s laughter and the rapid Mandarin rolling out the cracked door.

There was the sound of the train running down the tracks to the turn around.

The sound of the ocean was also louder.

I noticed this today.

I was not sure if it was that the tides are closer in at sunset or in the evening, or if there’s less traffic noise and therefor the sound of the surf is louder.

Either way the sound is louder and I enjoyed the laughter I heard and the chatter of the neighbors and the tourists all heading out to the beach.

I saw a new friend from the neighborhood outside of Java Beach Cafe.

“Going to watch the sunset,” he smiled, nodding at the camera in my hand.

“Yup,” I said, not slowing a bit, there were images I knew I wanted to capture.

“Never gets old,” he said and concluded, “enjoy the sunset.”

“Thanks, I will,” I said and cut across La Playa toward Great Highway.

There was a drum circle of kids in the dunes, a gay couple wrapped up in blankets on folding chairs, a waddle of children running toward the beach, lovers holding hands, runners, a few early evening surfers heading into the water, and lots of dogs bounding in and out of the surf.

I pulled off my glasses and turned on my camera.

TIdes

Colorful

Sunset

Sunset

Coast

Coast LIne

Mirror Image

Mirror

I forgot about the nanny shift, the opera tickets, the world just fell away.

Things are slowly be re-arranged inside, aren’t they?

I stayed until my feet were cold and my heart was warm.

The rosy sky ushered me back home and I sank down at my table and edited my photographs.  More of which may be seen here.

Even when I was writing out the rent check for October and watched the numbers dwindle down quickly in my register, I did not regret the decision.

I needed a day off.

A day to sit on the back patio and read and catch up with a friend on the phone.

A day to sleep in after the head ache I brought home with me last night.

A day to do laundry and the little household things that need to be done on a weekly basis.

What is funny, to me, anyhow, is that this morning when I was doing my writing, three pages long hand, every day, thank you very much, and my morning meditation (just a quick one, eleven minutes, but still any time I can get myself to sit is a good thing), I did not know what I was going to do with the day.

Had I been asked at that time to work, I probably would have said yes.

I am not good with unstructured time.

I feel often that I must go and get and achieve and do.

I forget, more often than not, but not as often as before, that the not doing anything is actually good for me and it allows me to be more efficient when I am trying to get things done.

It is all about balance.

Happiness is not excitement.

Happiness is being serene and calm and present.

I used to think that unless it evoked intense emotionality, the peaks of a roller coaster and the dramatic plunge, that it was not happiness.

Today I know better.

And I can see that I have changed for the better.

I also said I get to go do something fun for me.

I bought tickets to see Mike Doughty play at the Fillmore in November.

I once, and not too far back, would have said that I could not afford it.

But I remembered how disappointed I was with myself the last time he was in San Francisco and I decided I could not afford the ticket.

I can’t afford to not go.

I love Mike Doughty and I swear that listening to his solo album,Yes And Also Yes, while I was in Paris along with a cd compilation a lover had made for me called Something to Write to (there was another, actually, called Something to Move to, that I also frequently listened to) was the sound track to my time in Paris.

He, Doughty, is going to be performing pieces from the Soul Coughing albums.

I am super excited and I dropped the $40 for the ticket without a backward thought or glance.

I also have a number of friends that I know will be going, so that will be good times too.

I am changed.

I am different.

I am slowing down.

Color me content.

Tide

Tide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the Pretty

September 19, 2013

All the pretty, for you my sweet.

My heart just soared tonight as I crested the hill at Ulloa Street and 41st Avenue in the Outer Sunset.

The light.

It was pure gold.

Literally standing bathed in the golden hour.

I felt like it was mine for the taking and I am so glad I slipped my camera in my bag before I headed out.

Sunset

Sunset, Ulloa Street at 41st Avenue

Especially as I had lunch with a new friend in Cole Valley today, let me stop and give a quick shout out to Zasie, didn’t know you had that cute little patio happening, I will be catching more action there.  So lovely, especially on a day with no fog and warm sun scattering the leaves along the sidewalk.

I love Indian Summer in San Francisco.

I felt pretty.

They sky felt pretty.

The sun felt pretty damn good on my skin.

Heck, I just realized that I ate outside twice today, dinner with my friend and her daughter on the patio behind the house, and lunch on the patio at Zasie, not bad for San Francisco.

In fact, I have dined al fresco more meals since I moved here than I have any where else I have lived in the city.

Maybe I will take my lunch down to the beach tomorrow.

I have the day off.

Anyone want to go to the beach?

I will be taking more photographs.

I did not have my laptop with me to share the photos I was approached about while I was at Burning Man, but we did sit at Zasie and then later at La Boulange, and talk about Burning Man, photography, art, artists, New York, LA, Paris, the art scene, photographers we both admired.

I got the gist for the project he would like me to tackle and we will be setting up another time to go over my photos and have him choose some for the site.

I am quite excited.

I am also feeling some nice validation.

The way he spoke, the way he spoke about how I witness my world and my art, I felt like I was being acknowledged as an artist.

Which I am.

Yeah, I know, y’all got that nanny thing at the forefront of your minds.

But I am a creative and I do create and I told myself a long, long time ago that I was not the one with talent in my family for art.

You betcha.

She’s a smart one, that Carmen, but her sister’s the artist.

And the pretty one.

Today, well, I felt pretty, how could I not, swaddled in the light from the sun, that golden orb swinging low over the sea draping the world in a blanket of flaxen light.

Sky Light

Gold

And I felt like an artist.

I spoke about what I do, how I work, where my inspirations come from, how I frame my shots.

I am an amateur and there is a long road ahead of me with the photography, with the writing as well, but how nice is that?

I have a long road to meander down, pointing my camera at the world.

My favorite French film is La Petite Voleuse.

There are things about it that captivated me when I first saw it.

It tasted like real popcorn hot and drizzled with real butter fat, and sweet Pepsi in a paper cup chock full of crushed ice, and a Lindt dark chocolate bar, they sold the Swiss chocolate at the Majestic on King Street in Madison, WI, where I saw the movie.

I was seventeen.

I wanted to be the little thief, not necessarily the life that she came from, it smacked a little too close to mine, but the escape, the romance, the taking of photographs.

The heroine rides off on her own into her own sunset, along the coast, with a camera from a shop with promises to never steal anything else again, but the images she takes with that camera.

I imagine myself as that girl.

Riding along, perhaps not in the sidecar or a vintage motorcycle with my debonair, skinny, French boyfriend (although I do find myself whistling the little snatch of song he whistles to her the first time he presents her with a pair of sunglasses he has swiped from a street vendor while she sits in an outdoor cafe sipping from her white bowl of cafe au lait), but on my bicycle, taking photographs of the world.

Just like I did not know where I was going with this blog when I started it, I don’t know where I am going with the camera, but it does something to me, something gets inwardly re-arranged when I frame up the shot and something comes over me when I look back at the image and I edit it down.

I cannot quite describe it, but it feels right.

So I feel pretty with possibility and light and the gold dusted sand dunes on Ocean Beach which beckon to me to walk them and take more pictures, take more images and see what comes of it all.

Nothing may.

If only for the pure enjoyment of it all.

Which is ultimately what artists do, right?

I don’t write this blog for you.

I write this blog for me.

I look everyday at the stats and who is reading what, but I don’t write for the audience, that you are along for the ride is a thrill and a pleasure, but the stories are mine, the images too.

I create for me.

I love for me.

I love me as an artist.

I love that I get to be an artist.

I still may wake up tomorrow and doubt the veracity of it, but as I hear it said more and more and I type away every night, and scribble away every morning, as I point what ever camera I have on me toward the image that captures where I am exactly at this moment, a kind of poetry, I confirm it with in.

I am just a channel.

A conduit.

Another way for the beauty to come out and across from somewhere and something unknown, a core of unrelenting power and love.

My truth.

My art.

My words.

My photographs.

My pretty.

Your Blog Here

August 23, 2013

Who Am I Trying To Fool?

Me, myself, and I.

I have been trying uselessly for the last half hour to get up online again.

It is mercurial out here, shocker, Internet disconnectivity.

But I do get online at odd times.

And my good “friend” facecrack loads up pretty darn well, which doesn’t actually surprise me, what’s his face flew into Burning Man last year via a helicopter.  He could have walked past me and waved his skinny white butt at me and I would have had no clue.

I have met some famous folks out here, but the fact is, we are all just famous in our own minds.

I saw a bumper sticker today that made me laugh out loud, “I’m pretty famous at Burning Man.”

Aren’t we all?

I also overheard someone say, “that’s my new go to: fuck you, it’s magic.”

And it is.

Things pop up so quickly out here that it does feel like magic.

I went out for a late afternoon bicycle ride on my break—I am in the middle of a very long shift—and got to see some art being built up.  I was really impressed with what I saw and quite smitten with two pieces.

One, which for short hand I will just call “Iron Wolf” shocked me at how fast it was installed.

It was not on playa this morning, then boom.

Huge metal sculpture of a wolf howling at the sky.

I saw it and immediately change the route I was taking to go see it.

Man, was that worth the detour.

Beyond cool.

I got lots of photographs and actually managed to get myself in a picture.

There was a guy bicycling by and he was drawn out to it as well.

“Was this here yesterday?” He asked me, inquisitively.

“Nope,” I replied, “ I think it just got installed, pretty amazing right?

“Fuck yeah.” He said and smiled.

I asked him to take my photo in the belly of the beast—I had clambered up and nestled into the space that was open air to the sky and warm metal from the sun.

If it weren’t so high up and with scant railing, I might have taken a nap up there.

I did lie down on the warm, smooth metal and enjoyed the feeling of being lifted toward the sky like a sacrifice of self, take this person and remake me stronger, better, more selfless.

I give up myself, my old ways, my hiding under the bushel of who I am, and let it come out.  I dress up, I wave at folks riding by, and I smile, a lot.  I cry a lot, and you think I don’t already?  My emotions just spill forth like nothing else.

I am the water works out here.

Although I am not the only one.

I just feel more attuned to it out here.

I rode the entire Esplanade, getting photographs of theme camps setting up, the rigging, the fire prep—the burn platforms being set up—the scaffolding and dome building.

And the art.

Oh that art.

Another piece that totally smote me is called the Photo Chapel.

A stunning chapel by the artist that built Ego last year.

I was scampering all around it to get the right angle, the sun so here, the stained glass windows (doubtful that they are glass, it is a burn piece, but they looked astoundingly realistic) the photographs, the sepia portraits and the gothic details of the piece.  It might be my favorite piece ever on playa.

I can’t wait to see the finished work.

Speaking of artists, I may be hosting a friend here again tonight, in my little trailer, his tent got smacked down with the wind and his art piece got smashed.  He and his team have been working night and day to get it back together and he has not had a spare minute to fix his own gear back up.

He spent the night in his car.

I saw him hollow eyed at the Commissary and offered him a place to crash.

I said swing by whenever.  I am at the camp all night.

Mom and dad are celebrating their ten-year anniversary tonight.

When I found out I insisted that they go out and have a night.

They were so sweet.

They met ten years ago today on a Rangers shift.  I got to here the story tonight at dinner and it was adorable.  Plus dad whipped out a tablecloth for the table we sat at, brought a long a bottle of champagne, and we had celebratory dinner with friends.

I really like this town, this city I live in.

Mom likened it to a small town feel with an urban appeal.

It is just that, it is small town without the small town mentality.

There is an unusual openness and tolerance of all kinds of folks.

All shapes, sizes, colors, ages, religions, and backgrounds.

I adore it.

But you already know that.

Sigh.

Pardon me.

I am tired.

It is just after midnight and I did not take a nap today.  Just sort of happened that way.  I had intended to do so, but had a sudden impulse to get out there and utilize the light that was smothering the playa with golden goodness.

And I was well rewarded.

I don’t like to boast of my work, I am not a professional (yet) but I love to take the photographs and it fills me up with a kind of joy that I is inexplicable and deep rooted in me.

Today I was fed and satiated with the images.

I got more shots that pleased me then I have in the previous days.

I popped them up on my other blog—www.whereintheworldisauntiebubba—then put a bunch up in my facecrack album, Burning Man, 2013.

I got some lovely response.

Including, wait for it…

An offer to be paid for some of the photographs!

I was so flattered I just about fell out.

REALLY?

Yay!

I have to go over to Media Mecca tomorrow and talk with the managers there and see if I can get my camera tagged.  I never thought I would be doing that.

I’m not sure if I’ll get approval for the department, but I almost don’t care (it’s not a huge sum of money) just to be asked was such an honor I am blown away that someone wants to pay me money to put my photographs on their website.

That and the smell of wood smoke drifting currently through my door as I wait for the anniversary couple to return from their playa date, made my day.

That and the photographs themselves.

My little piece of art out into the world.

So thrilling to be asked.

Makes me want to run right back out and take a bunch more tomorrow.

 

Easing In

July 23, 2013

The week starts out with a three hour nap.

Thank you Jeebus.

That was amazing.

Now, I expect the other shoe to drop, no napping for the rest of the week, explosive diapers, teething atrocity, baby bedlam.

Not really.

There is no other shoe that is about to drop.

I have quietly, slowly, even at times, painfully, discovered this.

The anxiety about what may or may not happen in the future, anytime near or far, is just not worth holding onto.

Although John Ater has mentioned to me that perhaps I should worry more, because none of the things that I worry about actually happen.

I usually spend a few minutes after getting back from a Rockridge adventure after work, trying to force myself to wind down.

Must go to bed.

Must go to bed.

Must write.

Must write short, pithy blog that readers will appreciate reading and I will feel sense of accomplishment for having typed so fast my fingers are sore.

Speaking of sore fingers I may find myself reverting back to a bicycle riding prop that I have not used in years–gloves.

My hands and wrists are getting sore from the long commute.

I don’t mind the commute, although today, shocker, like every day, I did observe a few things.

“Queens not Hoes” was white washed over on the wall of the building it was splashed across.

Queens not garden rakes.

So sweet.

Instead of the sweet, albeit grammatically incorrect graffiti, the new artist had put up a splashy “Everyone is Trayvon” graffiti.

But it was not well done and it was not worth the stop in my bicycle commute to document with my camera.

I almost did not take out my camera on my way home either, although I expressly brought it with me after last nights spectacular moon rise.  I did not want to miss another opportunity to take that kind of photograph.

However, the banks of clouds were not parting to show off the rising moon, it stays hidden behind heavy purple clouds that look as though they might drop an unexpected summer torrent of rain.

Instead, when in the moment, I looked back to gauge my timing to turn left, I have to cross two lanes and then pop into the turn lane right after 50th, I saw the sky behind me on fire.

I swung over to the gutter, took my feet out of my Hold Fast straps (pedal retention like cages) and managed to pull out my camera and catch a few shots before seeing a perfect gap in the traffic to shoot over.

I took a few shot, bundled up the camera, and pedaled quick and fast across the road way before the next onslaught of trucks jacked up on huge rims, flashing silver and white.

I was thinking about pulling over by Talk of the Town and taking some photographs of the neon signage outside the bar, but there were too many gentlemen of the drunken variety and a posse of young men across the street obviously holding.

I did not stop.

Although, given the chance I will.

I did like the shots I got though.

Kelley Moore Paints

Kelley Moore Paints

Sunset

International Avenue

Sunset Reflections

Reflections

 

 

I had another moment today when I wanted to take some photographs, but only because I planned on being the nanny police and turning in a little riot of teenager drinkers and smokers in the park that I took my charge to.

Really?

Must you roll and light up that blunt right there?

Really?

And then smoke it too?

Come on.

The entire playground was rife with pot smoke.

Then I heard the smashing of a bottle on the ground, a flask had been passed around and dumped into the bottles of Ocean Spray Cranberry Cocktail in the quartet’s busy paws.

I am not surprised by underage drinking or drugging.

Not really.

I am not normally so nosy, either.

But I was pissed.

They were babies with babies.

The stroller was a trashed out single mom ghetto stroller that you might see a homeless man pushing.

However, I was quite aware that the fifth person in the group was napping and his/her legs were dangling out the bottom of the carriage while the two girls and two guys drank and passed around the blunt.

I just had to let it go.

What was I going to do?

Call CPS.

At least they weren’t smoking crack in the park.

At least the kid was napping.

I mean, who am I to judge?

I think I know better, but it’s not my kid and I can’t rescue them, I can hardly rescue me.

I just turned my attention to where it needed to be, on the tow-headed joy of a little girl I had right in front of me demanding to go down the swirly slide.

“Up, up, up, up,” she said, raising her arms and pleading with me with bright shiny eyes.

“All rewards, but none of the work, eh?” I asked her.

“PEASE!”

Ok, I am a sucker for a kid who uses please.

I lifted her up and tipped her over the side at the top of the swirly slide and watched her happy and content twirl down the green plastic slide.

She told me when it was time to go.

“Home.”

And walked me to the gate when it was time.

We walked back, picked jasmine, smelled the flowers, talked to a puppy, talked to a drive way, pointed out dad’s car, and showed up at home for “Na, nas”.

Food.

She ate half my apple today, half of an avocado, black beans, turkey, cheese, blueberries until the cows came home, and a few yogurt Puffs.

Baby crack.

But good for keeping the hands busy when you need to attend to something.

We played stickers, read about poop, and sang songs.

Not a bad way to start the week.

And I managed to get my camera out too.

Week has officially begun.

What’s next?

I am ready.

 

Flattened, I Mean

June 26, 2013

Flattered.

I ran into an old friend of mine tonight down at the Women’s Building in the Mission of San Francisco, he had just gotten back from celebrating his 75th birthday.

In Paris.

He showed my his photographs and I knew where they all were taken, literally, all of them.

It was a day to be reminded of Paris, in lovely ways.

“I know you are probably not that happy about it,” a friend said to me this evening as I was preparing to head over to the 16th Street BART station, “but frankly, I am so fucking happy you are back.”

Me too, love, me too.

But I actually am happy about it, happy to be back, happy to be making some work and personal progress, happy to be just a little lighter and easier in my skin.

Also happy to be connecting and staying accountable to my life, my choices, and my actions.

“I just wanted to call and leave you a message about this upcoming weekend,” I told a friend’s voice mail, “despite my protestations to the opposite, I am going to house sit again.”

I promised to take care of myself, I promised to not isolate, and I promised to stay away from the sugar and their cupboards and from all things tempting.

I am ok with this house sitting gig, as well, as it feels really safe, it’s in Cole Valley in a gorgeous house and it happens to be the place where I do my nanny gig on Tuesdays, and it will be the spot I also get to pick up an extra gig for Monday.

I don’t have to commute anywhere, I get to just wake up and be in the spot.

This morning the commute was not bad, but getting back was a headache.

The rain pouring down was discouraging to me, the thought of showing up wet, as well as the need to leave early so that I could take extra precautions on the road–when it rains people do not drive as well, and I always have to be a defensive bicyclists.

I packed my messenger bag with my lunch and dinner, I had plans to meet up with a lady at the Dolores Park Cafe after work and knew I wouldn’t get home til late, and as it turns out, way late.

My room-mate offered me a ride to BART and I made the executive decision to leave the bike at the house, I would take the bus, or a cab.

Or the MUNI!

Totally forgot about that.

I had to leave the house faster than I was prepared for, breakfast left on the counter, half my lunch left on the counter, 1/2 a cup of coffee quickly ingested, but it was worth it to not be wet at work (although I am sure I could have tossed the wet items in the dryer) and once the BART pulled into Civic Center I realized I could take the NJudah to work.

I got there so fast I actually had 45 minutes to spare.

I went to Crepes on Cole and had an omelet and some fruit and a couple of cups of coffee, did some writing and prepared to meet the day.

The kids were great, but I am sore, yes I am.

Mostly just achy, not as flattened as normal.

Although every time I tried to do any sort of work remotely, I was unable to.  I kept checking in my e-mail and there were little things here and there to address and I could just keep on top of the babies.

Which is just how it’s going to go some time.

I was also intrigued by an e-mail I received from an organization that I had submitted some work to.  They had chosen one of my photographs to be in a gallery show in New York.

I got all excited, I clicked on the photo they had pulled from the portfolio.

Sidebar-fuck me!  I forgot to down load my photos, grrr.  It’s almost eleven pm.  I had made the decision to get my photography back up and going and said I would at least post a daily photo.  Where’s my camera, I took some shots today.

Yes!

The photograph they chose was one I was quite fond of and I was thrilled they wanted to use it.

Then something struck me as fishy, I read the fine print and sure as shit, I had to upgrade to a different platform with in the artist site to be eligible.

No thank you.

I will however use the money that I would have spent on printing off some of my photos, I would love to print off a couple of larger ones for my new in-law.

But it was nice for a moment to feel special.

What it reminded me to, was to my commitment to continue taking photographs, even if they’re just for me.

I love pictures.

I do.

So, as my friend was scrolling through his shots of Pont Neuf and Notre Dame and Hotel de Ville, the Seine, and one magic shot he got at sunset from Pont Alexandre of the Eiffel Tower, I was thrilled to see that my memories of the city were still firm in place.

“I asked about the magazine, you know,” he said to me, as the last picture floated by on his I-pad.  “Mo said it had not come out yet, and that you should be very pleased to have gotten them to publish you.”

“Really? That’s sweet,” I replied, “I was asked to read from the magazine as one of the contributors at the launch party, but well, I don’t plan on being in Paris on July 22nd, unless something crazy happens.”

“That’s when it comes out, July 22nd, I will be sent a copy,” I finished and gave him another hug, “it’s really good to see you.”

“You should know, Mo says you should be very flattered, they got 1,000s of submissions,” he said, “you should be very proud of yourself.”

I am.

Mostly for just getting through the day and not dropping any babies on their heads, but I am also flattered, I am.  It’s awesome to have a publishing credit.

Even an unpaid one.

I will take it.


%d bloggers like this: