Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Not as Old as I Look

So okay, it's a silly title but what do you expect and 5:30 in the AM when I've gotten all caught up in reading your blogs all night.  I promised you a Sepia post and you shall have it.

Thematic Photographic 125 Sepia see more at Carmi's site 

So why do I not feel the same way about Sepia, as I do about Black and White Photography?  I really don't know the answer to that question.  Maybe it's because the brown tones are warmer than the gray ones ... or maybe it's because the photography world doesn't try to cram it down my throat.  I'm contrary that way.  Sepia doesn't look 'dead' to me ... it just looks old.  For antiques (and ghost towns, you really should pop over and check out some of the other links, great photos this week!) sepia just fits in a way nothing else does.  It's also a great treatment for old timey dress up shots (like those you see at the mall and at festivals).  

In the case of the above shot, in addition to the subject matter, it greatly helped with the lighting problems this shot had.  I did do this from other angles where the lighting wasn't so harsh and those I left in full color.  I liked this shot both ways.

This shot is not very old at all 'though it looks like it might be.  Admittedly the subject may be ... but it was taken just a few years ago in a museum at the Lighthouse some of you will remember I posted called "Bright Eye".  I love this shot in color, but it makes me feel like I've stepped back in time in Sepia.

This picture of a soft shelled  turtle (the first I'd ever seen) was taken at the Edisto River not far from here.  Yes that turtle is underwater, that is sand on it's back ... they're shy and camouflage themselves pretty well.  With that sandy river bottom it didn't have much color anyway so I opted for the sepia treatment, it wasn't much of a stretch. 

And that's it for this time folks, a girl has to sleep sometime.  'Night y'all.



Sunday, November 28, 2010

Come and get your Bloglove on!

I've had a hectic week.  Out of town company, holiday dinner - twice, trying (and failing) to catch up from my down time LAST week all having me playing catch-up STILL.  Then, when I finally thought I'd get this posted last night, I spilled iced tea on my desk and it got all up in my mouse and it wouldn't work right (seems to be all dried out and operating today) But I'll just keep plugging away at it until I get it, so don't give up on me.

Ckrets is likely thinking I'm totally unappreciative, as it's been a week or two since she notified me but nothing could be further from the truth.  I all bouncy and excited over the fact that she gave me this ...

I just love awards, they give warm fuzzy feelings and make me feel all ooey gooey inside.  So THANK YOU CkretsGalore.  You can (and SHOULD) check her out at Kick Her Right In The Habit  She'll make you laugh (unless you're a stick in the mud, in which case you're probably not reading my blog) with her irreverent attitude, a bit cheeky, and maybe even a little twisted.  If you're reading this you'll like her ... trust me.

And now it's my turn to pass on some blog love.  Yay, I love to play Santa ;)  This one goes out to those that bring smile and laughter into my world.

Bruce at Just Another Day in Paradise and his dog Tucker, who daily never fail to bring a smile to my face.   Bruce grew up in the same world I did, although I'm not sure he's from this planet any more than I am ;)  He also has red hair (and the temper that comes with that) and now I find out he's a crazy magnet too.  Ya know Bruce?  They say like attracts like ... it might just be us, just sayin'.  Check out his blog ... it's all OVER the place and you'll like it (Tucker too).

And then there's Kara at Visions unto Myself  This chick could write stand up.  She's funny as hell and not too many people have discovered her yet ... but they will.  She's another who posts daily, unlike me who barely manages to squeak out two or three a week.  Follow her now and when she's rich and famous you'll be able to say "I knew her when ... "  and maybe she'll send us cookies, it could happen you know.

And check out this guy named Que at Dad By Trade He's working two jobs now so not posting as often but when he does ... well just let me say he had me in TEARS I was laughing so hard at his story about racing a bird down the road one day.

A Cappelli at This House gets Crazy at Three O'clock does fantastic illustrations to go along with her humorous tales.  She is another very talented undiscovered that I'm thankful that I happened upon (I think it was during Fickle Cattle's contest *shrug* but I could be wrong) I'm not generally the Mommy blog sort ... but her's is not the typical Mommy blog.  Her posts make me giggle ... like when she tells about how her daughter keeps the Tooth Fairy on a short leash.  Definitely worth reading.

And finally Pickles at Another Day of Crazy ;)  okay No, that's not her name ... but check out her profile picture.  She deserves this award for that alone, because it makes me laugh every time I see it.  She might rant a bit but retains her sense of humor,  and she just bought the COOLEST middle age crisis toy EVER!  Mmph Mmm ... nope, not going to tell you.  You'll have to go check it out for yourself ( and you guys will be sorry if you don't ... just sayin' )

There are others I would have passed this along to also, but they've already been awarded it (yup, I checked)  and five is a nice odd number so that's it until the next one.

I'll be back soon with my Sepia contributions for Thematic Photographic.  Also, I know now that it was the right thing to do to keep this blog anonymous ... yep, I'm feeling the need to vent my spleen.  So soon, my pretties, I will be back on a regular basis soon.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Weird Wednesday: Hospital Hijinks

One place that I almost always encounter weirdness is hospitals.  I don't suppose that's surprising to anybody here, because hospitals are strange places.  They keep you in bed 24/7 because you're supposed to be resting so you can heal, but then every time you drift off to sleep they wake you up.   I can't imagine a worse place to recover from anything.

It was late afternoon/early evening after the surgery to put my leg back together. If you missed the story of how I broke it you'll find it here.  Not long after I woke up they brought me a roommate.  Older lady, talkative ... and nutty as a fruitcake.  I was still under the influence of anesthesia, kind of in and out, so I thought at first it might just be that I was a bit confused and tried to reserve judgment.

As we were getting ready to call it a night I started getting a little concerned, as the little bit of woman was scurrying around the room tugging at pieces of furniture and muttering to herself.  When I asked her what it was that she was trying to do, she explained that she was trying to bar the door so those nurses couldn't keep coming in there.  Now, I couldn't get out of bed at ALL yet at this point and I told her I NEEDED those nurses to be able to come in ... while casually trying to unobtrusively move my hand toward the call button.

She said she couldn't help it, that every time those nurses came in during the night they left the door open so that all those cats could sneak into our room, and she just couldn't deal with all those cats crawling all over her all night long.  Then she started muttering to herself again and continued dragging things toward the door.  Oooh kay .. CATS!  Evil, sneaky attack cats that have hypnotized the nurses to do their bidding.

Now I am starting to panic and punching that button repeatedly.  A nurse finally answers,

"Did you need something?"

"Um, you'd better get in here before the barricade is complete"  I  squeaked, trying to be quiet about it, but there was no need to worry, my roomie was totally engrossed in her efforts to save us from the coming cat invasion.

It was the first time I had ever seen an immediate response to a nurses call button, and it was a good thing too 'cause I was fixing to go off on a nut myself.  Suddenly the room was filled with hospital personnel (who, strangely enough, were catless) who quickly and calmly put everything back in place and whisked my roomie off to the psyche ward.

If you are a regular reader of my Weird Wednesday posts, you might get the idea that I am some sort of magnet for 'crazy'.  I cannot argue with that assessment.  I don't know why it is, but if there is a loony tune anywhere within a mile of me they will find me and try to make me a part of their sing-a-long.

I'd like to tell you that the rest of that hospital stay was uneventful, even boring ... but it wasn't.  I think though, that I'd better save the story of Attila and Hun and the Demerol induced hallucinations for another episode of Weird Wednesday.  Come back next week, same bat time, same bat channel.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Midnight Double Feature: It's Electric

Many of you will remember that I, um .... kinda 'missed' the Electric theme last week.  Part of the problem was that I wanted to take new photos for it, rather than dig through my stash, because the County Fair was in town.  I took me a bit to get them processed because I was jonesing on vegetables joining the 21st century.  All of the shots I'm going to share are from last week except one. 

There are lots of reasons people go to the fair.  The rides, the animals, the crafty competitions, the atmosphere ... but here in the south there is one reason that surpasses all the others.  It's the food!

Elephant Ears, Turkey Drumsticks, Funnel Cakes, Foot Long Corn Dogs, people come to the fair to eat ... and they spend a fortune doing it.

That's not to take away from the whole "Bright lights, big city" aspect however.  It is an 'electrifying' atmosphere.

There's just that something about all the lights, and the colors, and the sounds ... that nothing else ever quite measures up to.  The very air is charged with excitement.

And oh yeah, did I mention there were rides?

And with that I'll say good night leaving you with this last shot taken a couple of years ago.  I couldn't not include it because it's one of  my very favorite shots ... and the first one I thought of when I saw the 'electric' theme and the one that inspired this entire post ...

Good night Gracie.

Be sure to catch tonight's first feature "Candid" the post immediately preceding this one *wink*

Midnight Double Feature: Candid

 Thematic Photographic 124 for more Candid photos press the (very cool!) button


People are not my favorite subjects but when I do take their photos it is almost always candid shots that I choose.  I'm not a big fan of posed pictures, I like a natural look.  With my blog being anonymous, however, I thought it would be hard to come up with more than a couple shots of strangers ... HA!  Should have known better I suppose :)

Kids are always fun to photograph, and fairs and festivals provide ample "oh how cute" moments.  I tend to grab those without even thinking about it.

 The first two were taken at the Maritime Festival in Charleston, although they call it something different now.  I've actually missed it the last couple of years partly because of the name change.  I love sailboats of all kinds, and the big ships are just awesome.  This shot is from the Azalea Festival here in Summerville.

I would have told you I didn't have many shots of adults (except family of course) but turns out I would have been lying.  Seems I have a penchant for snapping shots of people while their working.  This was one of the pirate dudes at the Maritime Festival caught on a coffee break.

A broom maker at the Azalea Festival.  Very cool booth, they make natural brooms, right there at the festival.  Some have short, crooked handles ... very Harry Potterish. 

This artist, from the same festival (although this one was taken this year) didn't seem to be distracted by the crowd in the least.  Very focused.

This is not the best picture I ever took.  The light was bad, the background BUSY, but I really liked the whole 'street musician' concept.  Heavily edited to try to make up for it's faults, but I wasn't talented enough to be able to get rid of the sign in the background.  I think it may have been taken in Florida, but I really don't remember.  I included it for Bruce of JADIP who had a street gig for awhile, and now has a really cool blog you might want to check out.

Last, but not least in this series, is a shot taken at a Pow Wow held at the Fairgrounds here in Ladson.  It's titled "We the people" (I wonder how many will see what I saw in this shot). 

That's it for the first show, second feature coming right up

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Weird Wednesday: Restaraunt Raunch

Okay,  I'm a few minutes late ... so shoot me ;)

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away ... I was young and waited tables for a coffee shop in California.  We used to run a nightly dinner special and on Monday it was Chicken.  It came with soup and salad, 1/2 a chicken fried, choice of potato, and  a dessert (rice pudding) ... all for the ridiculously low price (even back then) of $1.49.  No, that is not a typo. I really did meant one dollar and forty-nine cents.

This attracted the size crowd you might imagine, a good portion of them being senior citizens. Most weeks the line of people waiting to be seated would go out the door and wrap all the way around the building.  Although typically that kind of wait would make for some very grouchy customers, we were generally forgiven because of the low cost. 

It wasn't only this restaurant's specials that were cheap.  The entire organization was, and while we rarely ran out of food, other essential things ... like clean silverware ... were another story.  It was a decent sized place, 6 sections of tables and a double counter that usually counted as one section, but on "Chicken night" it was two.  You see each counter had 10 seats and it was impossible for one person to handle both "well" when we were that crowded. 

Nobody liked to work counter on Mondays because it was extremely fast-paced.  The counter didn't get seated by the hostess after the table was cleaned.  Oh no, one got up another sat down.  You cleaned the preceding mess as quickly as you could get to it, and the customers usually already knew what they wanted to order.  I didn't mind because I was very good at my job and with that quick turnover I would make a pile of money.

One night the person scheduled to work back counter called in sick and the manager, who we'll call Prick, didn't bother to try and call anyone in to cover the shift because "Well Sally's working front counter, she can handle both".  No, it wasn't a back handed compliment, he knew exactly the kind of hell he was putting me into.  He didn't like me ... and since he was going home, it wasn't his problem. 

It started out okay, my first batch of people spaced themselves out well enough that things were moving like clockwork.   I was congratulating myself on how smoothly things were going on the way to pick up my last dinner for that round of customers, but when I turned back around my stomach dropped ... 17 people stood up and left at the same time.  Just as quickly 17 more sat down. 

There's no way to know exactly what order they sat down in.  I just started at one end, cleaned the places and took 4 orders at a time, got them started with soup and salad, then took the next 4 orders until I got through it.  Now by this time we had started running out of clean silverware.  I had gotten about halfway down the 2nd counter when a man at the end of the first counter who I had, only minutes before, just served his soup and salad starts yelling

"Miss, Miss!"

I looked up as he says,

 "Do you think I could get a fork to eat my salad with?"  (The soup had been served with a soup spoon on the plate, hence the delay.)

Cringing at my rookie mistake, I immediately stopped what I'm doing and said,

"Oh, I am so sorry Sir, I must have forgotten your place setting". 

I ran over to the silverware station under the counter and reached down to find NO silverware, only napkins.    

"No, No, all I need right now is a fork so I don't have to eat with my fingers" his voice dripping with sarcasm.

I rushed over to another station where there were knives, but nothing else.

"When I finish my salad, maybe then you could see fit to bring me a napkin so I can wipe my mouth."

I went out on the floor to yet another silver station,  to find only spoons.

"When my dinner arrives I'll need a knife to butter my roll" 

"Look that's enough, I'm getting it"

"And I'd like a spoon by the time my dessert gets here."

By this time I'm on my way to the last place we store silverware and I've totally lost my sense of humor.

"Shut it Bud"

I finally get there and LO!   There is the fork I need. As I reach for it, his voice rises

"Some waitresses are so FUCKING stupid they can't even bring you utensils to eat with"

I. AM. LIVID. at this point.  I gathered the whole handful of silver into a big wad, and from halfway across the restaurant I THREW it at him and pointed at the door,


... and when I did, every person seated at the back counter stood up and applauded!  He left and I just stood there shaking, trying desparately not to cry (when I am very angry my eyes want to leak).  A very sweet little old man came over, put his arm around me and said "Honey, why don't you go in the back for a minute and compose yourself, have yourself a smoke.  Go on, we can wait" and shoo'd me off.  And I went, because if I'd have tried to talk at that moment, the tears would have exploded.

I got to the back room, took a couple drags off a cigarette, then took a deep breath and then went to find Bosley, the night Manager.  When I found him, he took one look at my face and in a quiet, comforting voice said, 

"Now Sally, I know you're mad at Prick but if you walk out now you won't be paying him back, it won't hurt him at all.  It's me and these girls that are here that will have to deal with it."

"I'm not walking out Bosley, but when you hear what I did, you're going to have to fire me"

"Why, what happened?"

When I finished the story he started  ... LAUGHING!

"I'm not going to fire you, now go wash your face and get back out there okay?"

Bosley was the coolest boss EVER.  We called him Bosley because he was like a cross between Tom Bosley (the dad in the TV show Eight is Enough) and the character Bosley from Charlie's Angels.  I don't even remember his real name. 

I made great tips that night but the best one was from that same little old man who said,

"If anybody ever talks to you like that again Honey,  you just 'accidentally' trip and dump an entire pot of hot coffee in his lap."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Okay fine, I can do Black and White

 Thematic Photographic 123 see more of Black and White at Written Ink

Yes I can, but it might not be exactly what you would expect ;)  I've never understood the artistic fascination with Black and White photography.  Yes, yes there is the drama and all, and that can but used quite well for effect occasionally (and it has it's use in portraits), but it more often just sucks all the life out of a subject in my humble opinion.  It tends to aggravate me when someone take a nature photo, most especially flowers, and then tries to tell me how much more artistic it is in black and white.  WHAT?!!! I think not. 

So yeah I'm a color girl, but I also take my photography seriously and because of the "black and white is the art form" mentality I've been forced to dabble my toe in the waters if I want to be taken seriously as a photographer.  I love how wide open Carmi is about interpretations of a theme.  Although I actually said "Ugh!" when I saw this weeks theme (sorry Carmi, it was just a knee jerk reaction for me) I knew that I would have plenty of leeway to offer up my own quirky version.  So I should just shaddup already and show you the pictures huh?

Sacred Geometry 

I do, of course have some traditional examples.  This abstract was taken of a sculpture in Washington DC a couple of years ago.

And yes, here again we have the obligatory spider shot ;)  presented here with the black and white being the spider's color ...

... and again here where the silhouette just begged for the conversion.  I was doing spooky Halloween shots when I was first learning about photo editing.

For something completely different I have this photo of a mime who posed for me at a festival in North Charleston. 

And to prove I do actually understand about 'drama' I offer this rather different view of a passion flower.  I do wish you could see this without the black frame my blog automatically puts around photos.  It's best on a white background. 

And that's it for today's show.  I am back, and with a vengeance.  I have lots to share that I put off last week while lost on the farm.  I actually have some photos I went out and took for the electric theme that I missed last week.  I'll probably share them anyways soon as they were taken at the County Fair here.  Tomorrow is Weird Wednesday already, and I have a few more things I'd like to get in here.   I'm trying to catch up on y'alls blogs too ... plus I found a few new ones with the guest posting gig.  OH my yes, and a warm and hearty welcome to you new folks, jump right on in ... the waters fine.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Reality is ...

I suck.  I wish I had a really good excuse for my absence because the real one is just lame.  After years of avoiding it altogether, last week I finally capitulated to the electronic media hierarchy.  I succumbed to peer pressure.  I now have a Face book page (with my real name).  In so doing I've come in contact with people that I had completely lost contact with, some for as much as 30 years.  Still, reunions are not what has kept me away.  I'm ashamed to admit this, but in less than a week I've become addicted to Farmville (oh the shame!).  I'm not going to tell you I can quit anytime I want ... I know me better than that ... but I CAN continue to function!  So I'm about to get back on track here. 

Today I'm guest posting on Rabbit's blog The Journey.  If you've not yet discovered him, you really ought to poke about a bit while you're there.  He's funny, irreverent, and a bit raw ... like life is sometimes, and he keeps it very real.  Please come take a look.  My bit is titled The Reality is ... shit happens.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Weird Wednesday: Mall Madness

Even as a child I couldn't stand the 3 Stooges.  As far back as I can remember "stupid" has pissed me off.  It's not funny ... it's stupid.  Don't even get me started on the Jackass Movies.

I was raised to respect my elders.  For the most part it's something I do almost instinctively, and I don't begrudge it a bit.  Unless the "stupid" thing overrides it.  When it comes to stupid, all bets are off. 

I was driving in a parking lot at a mall in southern California.  Even while in my early twenties I was a careful driver, so I was racing along at maybe 15 mph.  On the sidewalk in front of the store there stood a little old lady.  I kept my eye on her for a bit, deciding whether or not she was coming into the roadway.  She watched me as well, and she had plenty of time to cross the road 4 times before I got there ... even at the speed old ladies move, but she didn't offer to make a move so I figured she was waiting on someone.

When I finally creep up to where she is, she jumps off the curb RIGHT in front of my bumper and I have to stand on the brakes to keep from hitting her.  WTF!!!  Was she trying to commit suicide?  I about had a coronary.  I was not happy (read I was PISSED) but hey, it's an old lady so you have to let it slide right?  I find a place to park and walk up to the store ... where the old bat is back up on the sidewalk.  Like she's waiting for someone again. Still I keep my cool, as I was taught and continue on my way.

"Miss! Oh Miss!"

Was she talking to me? 
Calling me over? 
She WAS! 
And she started chewing my butt.

"I noticed you have out of state plates.  I don't know how you do it in Michigan, but in California we BRAKE for pedestrians."

Now I'll take a butt munching if I've earned it, but when YOU screw up and then think your going to harangue me for it, not so much.

(Remember she's old, you must not yell at her, you must not ...)
In the calmest voice I could muster I said

"Bitch, in Michigan we're not stupid enough to jump out in front of a moving vehicle."


Yellow comes in all shapes and Sizes

I wanted to get a few more shots of "Yellow" in before the new theme starts tomorrow.  I had a few different ideas starting with this one.  This turtle was at the Aquarium in Charleston.  I've had this thing for turtles (esp. sea turtles) ever since Finding Nemo introduced me to Crush.  Dude he was just too cool.

This grasshopper was happily sunning himself on the bright yellow leaf.  I think is was a coleus of some sort.

Yeah I know, any excuse at all to get another spider shot in there huh.  But her back IS yellow albeit a very pale yellow.

This is one of the many types of Crab Spider.  I had never seen any of these guys until I moved to South Carolina.  There's an abundance of them here.

The fall harvest equals "Fair" time in most parts of the US.  As I write the County Fair is in full swing here.  I'm going on Saturday which will be the last days it's here ... until next year.  I'm not a fan of crowds, but it always makes for a great photo ops and fattening yummies.  Night shots are hard at the fair.  Plenty of bright lights but far too crowded to be able to use a tripod.  Although I liked the composition in this shot, it wasn't sharp enough for me and became "Art"

And this golden shower is one last reminder of summer.  The 4th of July fireworks display down at the local baseball field.

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
                                     J.R.R Tolkien

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Medusa Rocks

For the Costume Party at the bar where I sing karaoke on Friday night I went as Medusa, and I have to tell you ... my costume rocked.  Having no source of income, I couldn't just go out and buy a costume so I had to do my own thing.  It took me all day Saturday to get ready, but I was really pleased with the results.  The costume didn't include a mask however, and I was concerned about sharing the photos.

Because I want to feel free to divulge any dirty little secrets that I deem blog worthy, I have chosen to remain incognito here on the blog.  Should any of my real life peeps happen across my little space here (highly unlikely) they may recognize their part in my stories, but they cannot claim that I've outed them to the world.   Neither would any potential employers be able to connect anything here with my legal persona.

Yes, it is quite possible that I'm just paranoid.  On the other hand as a wise man once said ...

"Sometimes paranoia is just having all the facts" - William S. Burroughs

I believe I've done it though.  I think I've found a way that I can keep the blog anonymous and still show you actual photos of me in costume.  Although the people that know me best might not be fooled, people I know only casually didn't recognize me when I walked up to them, so I think I'm safe.  If not, I'm just going to have to live with the consequences because I had too much fun with this outfit to keep it to myself.  Don't forget that with Medusa, looks can kill.