Saturday, December 11, 2010


Originally uploaded by Claudie C-G

It's okay to not like rats but to dig this image, right?

Today I am grateful for flickr. I looked back at my photo stream and saw spring! Lawdamercy, I hate the winter.

The bright spring colors were antidote, too, to the news of the death of my old love, Bobby Woods. I had been thinking about him all week: having watched the movie Basquiat, there were moments when Basquiat would look at the camera and totally reminded me of Bobby.

Today I wish I had been brought up by people who practiced kindness so that I would know it when I saw it. Instead, I spent my youth in novels, never learning to see what was right in front of me and to appreciate it.

Bobby died on the anniversary of John Lennon's death. He never expected a long life himself, having lost both parents when they were young. He said his life could be told in Rollong Stones' lyrics: torn and tattered. I think really his life story could be told in the names of his bands: Hot Property, The Heartbeats, and the Hooters.

Monday, May 3, 2010


A bunch of roses can make even my splotchy, in-need-of-paint wall look pretty. I will paint this some day soon but the growth chart for all the kids is here and I want to preserve that. Maybe we'll just paint around it.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

At the Beach

It was a gorgeous but windy day at Stinson Beach yesterday.

From the beach at Seadrift, look south past the Golden Gate (the land mass, not the bridge) to views of the city and even Sutro Tower.  There were a couple of parasailers off Stinson Beach.  Utterly gorgeous.

Friday, April 30, 2010

No Wax

What Happens at the Car Wash Stays at the Car Wash

It's been an intense week. Trying to maintain equanimity with preteen: don't back up too far, don't scrutinize too closely. Learning communication skills at school and having the process devolve to public weeping (not me or mine). Preparing for social events for the week and tying up loose ends left by my attention deficit disorder. (lol).


Turns out that those 10 minutes at the car wash are reaffirming, cleansing, calming. Who knew?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Unexpected Art

This is in my friend Greg's piano warehouse. He cleaned the place up, built a stage, hung art and lights, and threw a fabulous party. Oh yes he did. The music and dancing were divine.

The warehouse was overflowing with amazing art. Never seen before anywhere. It was done by one of his employees who has since passed away. The man was quite the colorist.

So here we are, in this big space with these hulking shrouded pianos all around and this crazy vibrant exciting art on the walls. Combine that with some great sounds and room to dance and needless to say, it was a lot of fun.

Thanks, Greg and Linda!

(I'm up to my old tricks. My camera was full of photos all stuck up in there. I'll try to trickle them onto the web slowly.)*

Tomorrow, The Carwash.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Our seasons are subtle here. They're not just winter, spring, summer, etc. They can be broken down more precisely: rainy, foggy, sunny, etc. And those can be broken down even further: tulip and daffodil season, wisteria and fremontodendron season, but no lilac season (dammit), at least not super fragrant lilacs. Drive a few miles, to places that have hard freezes in the winter and you can smell the lilacs. But not in the immediate SF Bay Area. Sad.

The wisteria will have to do in the early spring purple category.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

All Those Spring Flowers and . . .

I go Bananas.

This is the third day of only posting one (1) image to Flickr. Learning to self edit. What a concept. Not easy, I tell you.  Why have just one when you could have 5.  Or 25?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Girls and Dog

My girl is starting the dance of teenage separation. It's a two-steps-forward-one-step-back kind of dance. This is a head's up to me to focus on my own interests but remain available and steady for her through the process. I want to stay on her executive committee for the long term.

The poor dog and her giant lump! It looks like a mountain when she lays down on the other side. I feel a tad defensive that we didn't have it dealt with early on but surgery to me seemed too invasive just because the lump was unslightly to us. Sigh.

It's sweet that Scout hangs out with the girls. Love that.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Happy Rainy Sunday

Expectations have been drastically reduced here. Nothing is expected of the great outdoors anymore. I'm trying to look at the upside:
No pressure to do anything, to get anything done. Love that. A little reading, a little computer time. Went through my shoes and took a bag to Out of the Closet. Quick trip to the store. Oops, no bread for lunch tomorrow; didn't get to Acme in time.
The new disposal is on board, thanks to plumber Ed. He said he had to step outside a couple of times to calm down so he wouldn't either curse (preteen girls in the house, although they were fairly warned) or bust something. What a guy!

Off to reconstruct my kitchen . . . I don't need my rainboots for that.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sky Phenomenon and a Pretty Truck

Saw this on the way to school yesterday. 

It was not predictive of increased collective faith, the apocalypse (been watching too much Buffy), or fine weather for the weekend.  (Brrrrr.)

And then the happy truck up the street:

I loved How to Train Your Dragon in 3D.  Craig Ferguson is one of the voices.  Love that guy. But since when do Vikings sound like Scotsmen?

The 2.5-year-old garbage disposal sprung a leak.  Sheesh. Can't life be about taking pictures and making lovely meals?  And Spring?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Banana Blossom by Kate

Banana Blossom - For Claudia
 My friend Kate took this photo in San Diego recently. Way to go bananas, Kate!

Kate encourages this flower obsession I have. While I beg for intervention, she enables. Maybe she's right. Flowers are like snowflakes: no two are the same. Can there be too many botanicals? Unwilling as I may be, this is the pursuit of the most beautiful sunny hopeful living delicate (or ponderous) colorful geometric . . . flower. Leaves welcome too.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Thoughts on Flickr

I've been thinking about Flickr for a couple of weeks now. I post scads of stuff on Flickr. Some junk, some gems. And I don't get it when great photographers only post one or two things there. I tend to overnourish. Should I or how do I restrain myself?

Flickr is gluttony. No question. Do I enjoy getting lost in it for hours? Um, kinda. It's like Thanksgiving dinner: delicious but deadly. Flickr is the big conversation, the external not the internal.

A blog is a smaller conversation: with yourself, your friends and followers, etc. My blog is my diary; I'm still trying to figure out if it's words or pictures or both.

So maybe this Flickr/blog tension is a question of priorities.  Or of editing. And what the heck role does Facebook play? This is a conversation on hold.

Here's one of my favorites of the photos I just uploaded to Flickr.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Last week; between the raindrops

See?  We had a taste and then it slapped us down.  (Yeah, yeah, I know.  I'm overreacting. So what?  For those of you who can't or won't, just leave it to me.)

This is the start of our jaunt to Sebastopol last week.  The Richmond Bridge, gateway to Marin County.  San Quentin is over there on the left.  (Such lovely real estate for the condemned.)

Just a taste of how beautiful it was -- before it became so sucky and gray over the weekend. And here I thought I'd love having the fog and soft light back.  Hmph.

Monday, April 5, 2010

And now comes the cold. Criminy.

I was ready for spring.  Had the bike out.  Rode a couple times last week.  Thought about getting the warm-weather clothes out. Yesterday was a typhoon.  Today I had just finished moaning (see below), opened the door and it was pouring.  And now the rest of the week will be icy cold. Until it rains again.  This is not what I signed up for. I'm actually hankering for the predictability of East Coast weather.  What!?!

Thank goodness we ran between the raindrops and spent a day in Sebastopol last week. At least I have pretty pictures to look at, dream about.

I am sick of this weather. Sick, I tell you!

Everything is gray.  I left my knitting in Petaluma; I'm taking books out of the library that I've already read.  Oy!  So, don't want to reread the books and don't want to watch tv without the knitting.  Don't want to go out in the rain and am sick of being inside.  FMD.

Yes, there is light ahead but I trust nothing.  Illustration:  Dead or Alive?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pretty Sunday

It's Springtime and I'm called in different directions: the sun, the house, and the camera.

The sun:  Our yard is a weedy meadow, front and back. I want to enjoy the space, raise chickens and herbs


The house:  now that the rains have stopped and we can raise high the windows (if not the roof beams), I want to clean and paint and organize


The camera: my brain wants to make pictures.  Frankly, I'm afraid that if I put down the camera and turn my attention to other things, it'll be another 20 years before I pick it up again. 


Screw it.

Here's what my camera did in a room that needs to be gutted, rebuilt and painted:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mama's Got a New Pair of Shoes

and Frida Kahlo socks!

My girl tried to steal my shoes.  And so it begins.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

"True life is lived when tiny changes occur." --Tolstoy

Flickr got me the other day.  It reported on FB that I had uploaded 100 photos when I hadn't.  I had uploaded a big chunk but not 100.  (Also, I often delete photos after the upload -- it's a good way to compare them and choose the one I like the best -- but Flickr doesn't report that.)

Some excellent photographers upload only one or two photos at a time.  How do they do that?  Pick just one?  So that's my goal.  To pick the best of the best and put it here.  I will learn restraint.  My husband will be so pleased. 

Today there is just nothing better than my girl.

Friday, March 12, 2010

This is a story about love

"Mom, can we stop talking and turn off the radio?  I want to think."
"Okay.  Will you tell me what you were thinking about after you think it?"
Later: "What were you thinking about?"
"Well, I started telling myself a story.  I was sitting under an apple tree.  Maybe it was a pear tree.  Then I thought maybe it was an orange tree.  I like oranges but they make my tongue bumpy. By the time I was finished thinking, I was trying to decide which I like better, pandas or koalas.  Is bamboo a vegetable?"

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Little Houses, Little Houses

The older I get, the more fascinated I am by the mundane.  Walking the red carpet may be more interesting, but flossing your teeth every day may be the harder thing to do.

I love finding homes and front yards like these and recording the image.  They're soothing. Nothing fancy.  Calm. Basic.  Easy to care for. Not a lot of fuss.  Straightforward: what you see is what you get.  

These houses do not wear their hearts on their sleeves. They don't communicate a whole lot about what's inside.

These are the cocoons, not the butterflies.

While there's no subterfuge, there's still a little mystery.

Don't Want To

clean up the kitchen. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Yesterday's Dump Run

The El Cerrito dump has got to be the nicest looking dump on the planet.

And what is wrong with this picture?  Organic lettuce packaged in PLASTIC?  Wtf?  Berkeley Bowl plastic containers not recyclable in Berkeley?  Doh. I remain disturbed that my efforts are in vain and that this stuff ends up in landfill somewhere.  Will make a concerted effort not to bring plastic home.  Yes.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Got Lost in Flickr again

My to-do list calls.  Nothing's getting crossed off that damn list.  Shower.  Fuck it.  Ponytail. Dump run?  Who needs a shower to go to the dump anyway?

Through Erin Vey's Flickr stream, I found this woman: Fascinating and worth following.  She does these e-courses on self discovery through photography.  That sounds hokey but the results look beautiful.

Anyway.  I'm going. To the dump.  I'll prove it later.

Here's another image from yesterday.  I'm hung up on the flaws.  My camera needs a good cleaning and I need to carry a damp rag with me.  lol.

Monday, March 8, 2010

In Progress

Playing around with those birds . . . I may have to switch to film or borrow a camera.

Photos on the Wall with Wine

On the record:  My first show since hanging in the hallway for weekly review in college.  Then we did it on  clothesline with clothespins and they hung for a week until the next review.  I would stop by and visit them then.  I've advance from the clothesline but am still doing the visiting thing periodically.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Swingin' (8x10v)
Originally uploaded by seeing.things

Nabbed this gorgeous photo on metallic paper at the Looking Glass Photo swap today. Check out Melanie's other photos on her website or flickr stream:

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Got lost in Flickr today

It was really beautiful in there.  Really I should have been doing something more productive.  Gardening, for example.  Here's an old photo of a Shirley Alexander Watt garden I fell in love with on the Park Day School Tour in 2002. Just for fun and inspiration.

Too fabulous to leave it at just one.  Two more?

She creates place out of air. Here's the last one or two, or more:

Friday, March 5, 2010

Bitch and Soothe

While I love that people like my pictures on Flickr, it really frosts when they use them without asking.  Then, to make matters worse, they insist on requests for using their images as their work is copyrighted.  Hey!  Mine is too.  WTF?  This computer-age photography thing can be really confusing.  There's very little money changing hands for good work but everyone wants to use images.  If you have the answer to this dilemma, please let me know.

(This arises from someone using the Air Stream photo below in a mosaic and posting it on Flickr with not a by-your-leave.  Argh. Now the weird thing is that I can bitch about it here but not to the person who did this because you don't call someone out when they've paid you a compliment, right?)

Enough of that.  On my route to and from school drop off in the mornings, I've seen colors that intrigued.  These are just houses, yards, on either Sacramento or California Streets.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Air Stream Love

This is the first Air Stream to cross my  path since last summer.  It hasn't been used in awhile; the interior is unfinished. 

And it has a view!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Chasing the Fog Again

I drove up into the hills this morning, looking for that foggy softness.  Yesterday would have been better but I had other things on my agenda.

The fog was breaking up but there was still plenty to like.

About Me

My photo
Berkeley, CA, United States
Being an unemployed mom made it possible for me to return to my first love: photography. I'm generally a crafty sort; love to knit, cook, make cards, you name it. I love hanging with my kid and the conversations that ensue. My husband is a sweetie and my friends are the best. Not an irresponsible one in the bunch. I would love to hear your comments, especially on my photographs.