Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A new start

May 2009 bring us hope, healing, peace,
and a new sense of purpose and possibility.

Have a very happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Scarcely perceptible


Something I saw during a walk. What does it remind you of?

A couple of quotes that may, or may not, apply. It’s all in the interpretation…

Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.
-John W. Gardner

Fiction is like a spider's web, attached ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners. Often the attachment is scarcely perceptible.
-Virginia Woolf

Speaking of fiction, Petrea at Pasadena Daily Photo has started a fun contest based on a mystery thriller by a Pasadena author. Check out her blog for details.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Reflections

Sparkly scene on a wintry afternoon.

This was taken a few days ago. Today, it’s been a lot warmer and windy, and the snow has been melting, which is fine with me. Snow is beautiful, especially new-fallen snow. And it was magical for Christmas. But it’s been a hassle getting around by car or on foot. So, it was a nice change not to have to drive on icy streets this morning.

Amazing that the year is almost over! I’m usually not a New Year’s resolution kind of person, but I do think back over the year as I transfer birthdays, important dates from our old wall calendar to our new. The calendar ritual reminds me of what we did during the year, what changes took place, and gives me time to reflect.

I use an electronic calendar at work, but still have a wall calendar, just for the pictures – “dreams” to look at when I need a break. Pictures of Paris. Gift from my sweet husband. For December 2008, it’s a B & W of the Eiffel and its image mirrored in water.
Très magnifique!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sledding


We’ve had a lot of snow here, more than usual for this time of year. That makes for great sledding in Camel’s Back Park.


It’s back to work tomorrow after being off for the holidays. (Not quite ready to go back yet…) But N made some excellent brownies to soothe the Sunday night blues. :-)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dinner for two

One of our holiday traditions is to go out for a nice dinner. And because we both love sushi, we went to Fujiyama Japanese Restaurant – it serves the best sushi and sashimi in town. Above is the Special Sushi for Two, one of our favorites.

We also had sashimi with daikon and cucumbers.

And Choya Umeshu Plum Wine.

I work tomorrow for half day, then off for a four-day holiday weekend.

Happy Hanukkah, Joyeux Noel, Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Window moods


As I look at this photo, I can hear Miles Davis playing soft in the background, and then the scene flows into the window, into the room and focuses on a faded red armchair, by another window that looks out onto the street. An open book tossed on the chair, a half-eaten English muffin on a plate on a side table, a shattered drinking glass on the floor….

That’s one point of view. What is yours?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

City view

A view of downtown Boise, looking down Idaho Street, in the midst of a snow shower. Had some errands to run, including a visit to The Record Exchange, our local record/CD store. They’ve been around for years, and are going strong, even with the competition from the big box stores at the mall. You can trade in CDs, buy vinyl LPs, as well as get CDs and DVDs -- and find funky stuff in their gift shop for that quirky person on your gift list. They also do a lot of things to support good causes in the community.

Once again the weekend raced by too quickly, but it will be a short work week with Christmas coming up. Might even be shorter if we get the full amount of snow they’re predicting tonight…

Friday, December 19, 2008

Red mystery

What could this be? Is it part of a game? Is it to flag down drag racers on the street? Does it symbolize an adventure, a la Sherlock Holmes? Is it a table top? An optical illusion? A quirky gate? A target? A secret doorway?

What do you think?

Now that most of my holiday tasks are done, I could meditate a little more on mysteries such as this.

Or not.

Because now it’s the weekend, and it’s no mystery I’m ready for a break…

00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 0

And I think it's gonna be all right.
Yeah, the worst is over now,

The morning sun is shining like a Red Rubber Ball.

~ Paul Simon & Bruce Woodley

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Spirit of the season


The snow and cold continues here – like most of the U.S. – although it did clear off for a while this afternoon. Main thoroughfares are fine, but the side streets are glassy with ice. Lots of swinging around if you goose a corner too much.

The office where I work is across the street from a bar. One of the regulars drives there in a giant pickup truck and usually brings his Malamute-wolf mix, who stays in the truck bed while the owner has a few inside. After a short time being alone in the parking lot, the dog tips his head back and howls. He’s been “singing” a lot lately. His owner comes out every so often to check on him, and people coming into the bar usually stop and pet him; he seems to be quite friendly. But once everyone leaves, he breaks into song again. I don’t think he’s cold, with his heavy fur. He’s just a lonely boy. Perhaps he’s caroling in spirit of the season:
Glo-oo-oo-o-o, glo-oo-o-o-o, glo-o-o-o-o-o-ria, in excelsis de-e-oo-o-o-o-o…


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Twists & turns

Snowy here today; we’re definitely in winter now. During the gentle blizzard this morning, people were moving furniture out of the house next door. An elderly lady has lived there alone for years, but is frail enough now that her family has moved her elsewhere.

Good discussions this weekend with N about Dashiell Hammett (after watching The Maltese Falcon), and about Mexican architect Felix Candela, who created amazing buildings using hyperbolic paraboloid geometric forms. His buildings are made of thin concrete shells calculated in such a way to distribute the weight or load of the structure throughout the shell. They have withstood earthquakes, while many traditionally built structures didn’t.

What does a hyperbolic paraboloid look like? Think of the shape of a Pringle potato chip; that’s one form.

But now it’s Sunday night, time to mentally prepare for the twists and turns of another work week.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Continuing story


They’ve almost got all the siding up on the house across the street and have begun working in the interior. The roofing is in progress, too. Below is an inside shot taken about a month ago, before the steps were laid, when we walked up a plank to get inside.

What used to be a tiny two bedroom bungalow is now a “mini-mansion” with full basement, main, and upper floors. The garage in back also now has a 2nd story. Should be plenty of room for a couple and two kids.

It’s the newest house on the block; most of the rest are quite old. Because the foundation was not stable, they demolished the original house and went for new construction. It’ll be interesting to see how it looks when finished. I hope they paint the siding a more lively color than beige.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Following reflections

Typed in “reflections on shadows” for an internet search and a book came up about Saul Steinberg’s life, titled “Reflections and Shadows”. Steinberg created drawings and covers for The New Yorker for many years, including “View of the World from 9th Avenue,” one of The New Yorker’s most popular covers. Steinberg was born in Romania, lived in Italy, and later had to flee for his life due to the dangerous political climate during World War II. Along with his New Yorker drawings, he also created art in a wide range of media and was part of a Museum of Modern Art show with artists such as Robert Motherwell, Isamu Noguchi, and Arshile Gorky.

It’s fun following a thread of interest started by one thing – like a photo -- that leads you to something new, totally unexpected.

The life of the creative man is lead, directed and controlled by boredom. Avoiding boredom is one of our most important purposes.
— Saul Steinberg

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

After snow, sun glow


We had our first snowfall yesterday (although I didn’t get a good photo of it before it melted). And then the sun came out…

Been off work the last couple of days after finishing a large project last week. Needed time to catch up on holiday shopping, errands – and rest. Will be back to work tomorrow. And that’s okay; now it’ll be just basic day to day management through the end of the year. I’ll have time to think, and be more aware of what’s around me – like the way light glows through leaves

Monday, December 08, 2008

Waiting...


I think it was George Carlin who did a comic sketch about dogs “waiting to wait”. This dog was napping, resigned to being left on the porch, and never noticed me. The cat did, of course, but decided that even though I made a strange beeping noise (my camera), I wasn’t dangerous.

Between the wish and the thing, life lies waiting.
~ Unknown

Ten men waiting for me at the door? Send one of them home, I'm tired.
~ Mae West

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Sign for the times


I didn’t check to see what soup they had today – because N had already made some excellent, savory gumbo. Now, that’s a soup that soothes my soul…

** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **

It [soup] breathes reassurance, it offers consolation; after a weary day it promotes sociability...There is nothing like a bowl of hot soup, its wisp of aromatic steam teasing the nostrils into quivering anticipation.
~ Louis P. DeGouy, (Waldorf-Astoria chef)

A first-rate soup is more creative than a second-rate painting.
~ Abraham Maslow

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Windows


Windows within windows -- something that always attracts me.

I love how Edward Hopper painted windows. Even though they were often a small part of the overall painting, each one had a sense of identity.

Once, I did an interview with an artist whose entire show featured paintings of various windows. When I asked her what drew her to windows, she waved off my questions and proceeded to talk about how hard it was to paint each day and prepare for a show. I remember wondering if she was bored, and could no longer see past the window to the wider beyond. And there I was, wishing I created art well enough to be able to have a show at a large gallery.

I guess it just goes to show you… (pun intended)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Rock stars


As seen in a front yard during one of our neighborhood treks.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So you want to be a rock and roll star
Then listen now to what I say

Just get an electric guitar

Then take some time and learn how to play

~The Byrds

Monday, December 01, 2008

Red, with green


Red and green are complementary colors; on a color wheel, red and green are opposite each other in the spectrum. When they are placed next to each other, they stand out -- make our vision “vibrate”. Good info to know if you’re in advertising, design, graphics, art, or just want to make a poster that stands out.

We were walking the n’hood and this window stood out to me, especially the red basket. When the rich fall leaves are gone and we’re left with brown and gray, we’re hungry for color. Especially now as the days grow shorter.

While out at sunset, we saw the Jupiter and Venus shining brilliantly alongside a crescent moon. An astronomical event that will only be in alignment tonight. As the hours pass, they will gradually part, continuing on their own orbits.

Of course, metaphors about friendship, love, life come to mind, but I won’t attempt to be literary tonight. I’ll just stay with color and light…