Saturday, March 28, 2009

Photo of the day:The Gates to the Afterlife

Even in death the wealthy can one-up us poor dead folk. They can raise tombs to rival the pharoahs. These gates are what the sphinxes are guarding for eternity. I can see why, they're beautiful.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Big Thick Shakes
When I was in high school there was a hang-out spot called "Lyons." A 24-hour coffee shop with waitresses in actual uniforms and 5-page laminated plastic menus. Everything on the menu had a description. It wasn't just a hamburger, it was a "Fresh-Grilled Hamburger Sandwich Deluxe." Or you could get "Hot Pancakes." Because who wants cold ones? My favorite menu description was the milkshake, listed as "Big Thick Shakes in Tall, Shiny Shakers." My best friend, Steve, would always order one exactly like that. "I'd like a big, thick shake in a tall, shiny shaker, please." It would come in a tall parfait glass with the remainder in a frosty cup that ran condensation down onto the formica tables.

We'd sit in orange plastic booths and, at seventeen, feel grown-up ordering coffee. (Remember, this was before there was a Starbucks on every corner and 6-year olds sucked down lattes on their way to French school.) True to stereotypes, the local cops would come in and sit at the counter, downing slices of cherry pie or eating club sandwiches with those colored toothpicks holding them together.

There were plastic flowers in plastic planters and a plastic smell to the no-doubt asbestos-filled carpet. The really only safe things there were hamburgers and fries. Anything else was highly suspect. The fried chicken should have come with its own defibrillator paddles. The mysterious chicken fried steak (is it steak? is it chicken?) came in a lake-full of gravy you could swim in. And every breakfast tasted like fish. Everything. Eggs. The aforementioned hot pancakes. Not sure how they managed to make bacon taste like fish, but they did.

There was a "banquet room" where the local Kiwanis would meet and where we the drama department of my high school had an end-of-year dinner complete with speeches and trophys. Lyons even had a bar attached which I never went in. First because I was too young. Then because the place stopped being anyplace I would go. We used to joke about sneaking in and ordering martinis. A bit of alcohol made have made the fake rock-paneled walls and mystery carpet look more appealing and less like a waiting room for purgatory. There was always something dingy and vaguely moldy about the spot that, at times, seemed intriguing. But that was only because we lived in suburbia and were too young to know better. Once we all got driver's licenses we branched out and found new and better places to get our 2 am breakfasts and salt-and-grease-with-a-side-order-of-fries.

Lyons sadly closed ages ago and was torn down circa 2003. A Walgreens now stands at the place where we went for breakfast after grad night, burgers after band practice, and big, thick shakes in tall, shiny shakers. I don't miss the place, but I will always miss the place.
Cat of the week: No cat
I have decided to discontinue my Cat of the Week feature. Oh don't worry, I still have one, but for a variety of reasons I won't be posting them any longer. There are PHS rules about what volunteers can and cannot post on the internet and I don't want to violate those rules and, therefore, get canned. But if any of you are thinking of adopting a cat from PHS and want advice, please let me know. I get to work with them every week and would be happy to tell you more about the wonderful kitties they have.
Photo of the day: Choices

Every door is a choice. A choice to open the closet door or the linen closet. To open the kitchen door and take out the trash or open the door to the music office and get some reviewing done. I think there are entire horror movie genres about opening doors. Behind one the monster that will eat out your entrails. Behind another the option to be chased in your underwear through a snake-infested forest. Then there are the metaphysical, philosophical doors. Quitting a job is closing a door. Starting college again is opening one. But for now, I'm being literal. This is the knob to a door. My closet door, to be exact, Keeper of robes and jammies. Of jeans and boots. No monsters (unless you count the sweater I got from my mom for Christmas) but no model of fashion glory. Which is why the outside of the door is more attractive than the inside.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

On the trail

Up at Camp Sawyer Road the weather was perfect for a walk. Lots of bird, squirrels, lizards and, best of all, deer.

We also wandered along shady walks with trees curling overhead in suitably photogenic arcs.

With random flowers poking red heads out of green leaves. Looking more like Hawaii than California.

We even passed the tree of love and, in spite of our anniversary, refrained from adding our names to the roster.

I took about 50 more pictures. which I will spare you, but I urge you to up there sometime. Stand still, and watch the deer come out for lunch. It's magic.
Photo of the day: Saints

I love stained glass. It's hard to photograph, and I'm not real happy with this one. But the colors make up for it. From a local Catholic church.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nine Years
Nine years ago today Husband and I had our first date. Actually it was a few weeks before our previously scheduled first date, but fate intervened. I was doing a Saturday morning radio show at that time and he came to the station to hang out. And that was it. We said hello at about 10 am that morning and said goodnight at about 2 am that night. I woke up single and fell asleep in love.

It's been a great ride. We moved in together a few months later and we've been madly in love since that first day. Although it took him a few years to talk me into marrying him we have always been truly happy. Trust me, I know how rare that is and how lucky we are.

Neither of us ever wanted kids but both of us wanted a cat and, again, we got extremely lucky when we adopted Cipher (The World's Most Amazing Cat, Screw You if You Don't Agree tm) and our little family of three is thriving.

Thanks, Husband, for nine wonderful years. For putting up with me at my worst and still loving me in spite of myself. For killing ants, opening jars, teaching me about jazz, sharing your amazing family with me, and not minding that cheesesteaks make me sick.
Photo of the day: Just This Side of Delphi

It's an oracular view, isn't it? With the sun peaking out from the column. You'd think Greece rather than California. But you'd be thinking wrong. This one is a tribute to my Classical education and my love of the Corinthian column.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Self-Portrait in Water Fountain

I don't do portraits. I just don't have the knack of photographing people. I wish I did. And I certainly don't do self-portraits. Mostly because I don't like having my picture taken. But this one appealed to me. I'm so shiny!
Photo of the day: Springtime in Suburbia

Springtime in the SF Bay Area. California Poppies and white picket fences. Blue skies with clouds kicked around by the sweeping wind. Weather that tempts you to wear short sleeves at your peril as it always looks warmer than it really is.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Nights in White Satin
What is sexy? And why is one thing sexy for one person and totally silly for another? Then there are the stereotypes, the icons of sensuality that society has placed on a platter and served up for our carefully programmed titillation.

Eons ago I spent the night at a friend's house. He wasn't there, it was a last-minute thing with me staying overnight with his dog who was recovering from surgery (don't ask). Because the friend hadn't been expecting me to spend the night his house hadn't been friend-proofed. I didn't care about the gay porn at the bedside or the sex toys on the bathroom counter. But the satin sheets drove me crazy. Don't get me wrong, the were clean and fresh -- it wasn't that which bothered me. It was the fact that I, quite literally, slid out of bed twice. No, really. It was like sleeping on Crisco (which, for all I know, might be an actual fetish).

But the stereotypical setting for seduction, the no-doubt costly satin sheets, were a hilarious disaster. How do people actually have sex on those things? Maybe the friction holds you down. All I know was that sleeping there was almost hazardous to my health.

There are other things that are almost comic-book sexy that I've never seen the attraction of. I don't, for instance, do sexy underwear. Victoria can keep her damned secret. I have no desire to squeeze into a bustier or put on stockings with garters. Garters, for god's sake! And why would I want to torture myself with a bra designed by the Spanish Inquisition? I'm sure men like it, and no doubt Husband wouldn't object if I owned something other than cotton, but I just can't see myself spending money on lingerie that I could be spending on books or music.

I realize that turn-ons are a very personal thing. And I logically understand that people have all sorts of interests that just fail to interest me. Some things I get, even if they don't "do" me. I see the sexiness of a Playboy centerfold, the playful sensuality of the Petty girl, the romance novel setting of candles and music. But I also get that if I walked into a room lit with candles, with fuck-me music on the stereo and rose petals scattered on the bed, I'd probably burst out laughing at the absurdity of it all. Sorry, I just happen to find spontaneous bursts of lust to be far more enticing than a stage set, no matter how carefully choreographed.

It's like Valentine's Day. I can't be extra in love just because the calendar tells me to be. And I can't get in the mood if I'm sliding off the damned bed.
Little Head, Big Window

Cipher (The World's Most Amazing Cat, Screw You if You Don't Agree tm) loves to sit in our front window and watch the world go by. Whenever we walk or drive up to our house and see her in the window it always melts our hearts. There's just something so winsome about that little tiny head in the big window that is amazingly cute. Yeah, I know, crazy cat parents. But even without being smitten with the kitten, I think this is a cute picture.
Photo of the day: Post and Wire

Keeping me out? Keeping the wildflowers in? Keeping the deer from road or the bicyclists from the dirt? Whatever the reason, this post and barbed wire does the job. Makes a cool photograph too.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Photo of the day: What the hummingbirds liked

Someone with an greener thumb than I could no doubt tell you what this is in both English and Latin. I was just lucky to get it in my sights while I took this week's walk. Rather harkens back to that first theme when yellow was my nemesis. The one would have filled the bill nicely. It's growing lovely in the hills along the trail.