THE "NOT-SO" NEWS/JBLA: October 2005

Monday, October 31, 2005

It Was A Frightful Night...

It's the hallowed eve, this dark night, when ghosts and goblins and shadows unknown creep about the streets looking for goodies to sate themselves glutonously with sugar and fright.

It's a night to put aside your fear and head into that great dark vastness, sack in hand, hoping for mercy at each door that opens to you.

You look wantingly at the bowl before you, unsure of what you desire but you reach forward and fill your hand knowing that your teeth, your stomach and your parents will suffer later.

Those who stand behind the door stare at you in fright, unsure of who and what you are and offer trite comments on how cute you are, or the classic 'ooh you're scaring me'.

You stand there wondering how long you can keep the facade going when suddenly the door shuts in your face or another group of unsightly goblins shoves past you leaving you to wander once again on streets unknown--in darkness so foreboding.

This is the night that children are children, whether big or small--mean or kind. Treats are what you are hoping for but tricks linger in your mind.

Parents standing guard at the end of the path are a welcome sight, watching over their young.

For me, this year was, for lack of a better word, sad. I have trick-or-treated with my children for seventeen years and this is the first year that we didn't. Sarah off to parties with her friends, as has been the trend over the last several years but we've always taken Alex out because he's still just a kid.

I took this photo of him before he left, sitting on the front porch with the pumpkins we carved earlier in the day. He was gracious enough to let me photograph him in his costume in the top pictures but quickly removed it and put it in a bag to take to his friends house.

He decided to go with his friends this year leaving us home, alone, at the mercy of the kids that came for candy.

It drives home the message that kids grow and change, and though it might break our heart to see these changes come, it's a reminder that they can now choose for themselves sometimes just how they want to do something like Halloween. They get to decide that their friends make better company than their dumb old parents with the flashlight, calling out to them to watch where they step and to say 'thank you'!

I know he's out there having fun, laughing and cavorting with his pals and that makes me happy but at the same time a little piece of my heart cries for what has gone before.

The stash is what it's all about anyway, isn't it?

The candy we go through to make sure no evil has come to it is what's left in the evening.

We wish for them to grow and at the same time we want them to be under our wing--safe and secure--needing us I suppose.

But on days like this we are reminded that in the blink of an eye, times change, kids grow and we sit back and wonder how the time flew by so fast.

I had hoped to capture more goblins and ghosts this evening with the Holga on our normal trails but I didn't.

Maybe things will go back to the way they used to be next year. I guess time will tell!

To all you little trick or treaters that came to my door this evening, I thank you for your presence, your costumes and your funny comments.

Till next Halloween I bid you a Bootiful night!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

On The Mend...

Today was not, well, such a great day!

I sat at my desk working on stories that must meet their deadlines and I thought to myself, I'd rather just get my housecoat back on and lie in bed all day.

But deadlines mean money so I persevered!

This is my desk covered in lots of crap. Kleenex because I have a cold and other things that prevent me from leaving my house today. Notes, tape recorders, sticky notes and stacks of interview notes. They are scattered, much like my brain today.

There are times when stories must sit and wait and by this afternoon I'd had it. I was hoping that I'd feel better but instead I felt worse so I really never left the house.

The only thing that kept me on my feet was Dumb and Dumber. That would be my son and one of his buddies. His name is Brandon but we call him 'B'.

Their faces are true depictions of what they did to drive me to motherhood madness today. Never quiet, never still these two bandits could drive a locamotive to jump the rails.

They stopped playing video games long enough for me to snap this photo and I was grateful for the opportunity to shoot something that didn't require me to leave the house.

So I suppose I should be thankful!

I'm sure I'll feel better tomorrow and will hit the trails again in seach of a new Holga moment.

Till then, watch out for the early goblins and ghosts!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

It's Blooming Beautiful...

It was as though this brilliant yellow sunflower called out to me as I drove past the dam on Burbank Boulevard.

The color caught in the corner of my eye so I pulled a U-turn and then another so I could see exactly what it was that had peaked my sense of curiosity.

At first I didn't see it because of all the garbage scattered around it, but then, there it was.

It seemed that it had just pushed itself a little higher the nearer I got so it wouldn't go unnoticed in the scene of disarray surrounding it.

"Ahh," I said out loud as a breeze brushed softly against it's petals, commanding my attention.

I had finally found what I'd been looking for nearly all afternoon. A little slice of beauty right before my eyes.

With Holga in hand, I bent down close enough to see the details and managed to catch most of them in the forefront flower.

Today was a good day for pictures even though I know my butt will be kicked by Tammy with her photos of the opening of the Metro Line.

Oh well, tomorrows another day, and I love my flower, so till then the Holga will have a chance to rest.

Friday, October 28, 2005

A Horse Of A Different Color...

The sweat courses down my body as I gallop to destinations unknown--at least in my own mind.

I grow weary of this place that I have been cast to here on Ventura Boulevard and I long for an open pasture where I can roam freely.

I long for green fields and dirt in my hoofs and the sounds of others who resemble me.

Where have the meadows gone in this great Valley in which I've been set to rest? Why here--amidst the concrete of a road where no one stops to cherish me?

I have come freely to this place, or so they tell me, waiting silently to be unleashed, to run rampant, to graze, to feel what pumps in my heart and tells me to run.

Look closely into my eyes and tell me that's where I should be!

See my muscles pulse at my want to be free!

Set down the money they ask, take me to a better place, and unleash my wild side--I beg of you.

Let me run where mares lie patiently waiting for my maleness, where I might woo a philly into running at my side and bearing my sires.

Oh patiently I wait, moment by moment, day by day, for one kind soul to look deep into my eye and see the torment I live with day by day.

Give me the freedom, my right to be wild. Take me from this dreaded place I beg you. Let me be what is in my soul--please, should I bow to you on wasted knee, take me home...take me home and set me free!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

A Boy And His Ball...

Although my son is just 11 years old his hands have become powerful tools.

Shooting a basketball over and over until he's exhausted or he looses the ball in the neighbors yard is an easy task for these boy hands burgeoning on man hands.

They are busy all the time. They've grown rough in areas and yet remain smooth in others, all from the daily use they incur. As I said they are very busy hands.

What I love most about this photo, another Holga moment, is that those little fingers still ring with innocence and retain a childlike quality to them. They've been through a lot, seen several casts, fingers sewn back on and worn too numerous bandaids to count, but when they find themselves clasped in mine I am reminded of youth--one that quickly passes.

They are nearly the same size as my almost fifty-year-old ones.

When you look at things as simple as this you realize just how quickly time passes, just how fast children grow and how fast we move towards those golden years.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Falling Into The Season

Fall is upon us. It's clear to see that the leaves are beginning to turn to their glorious reds and oranges.

The cool nights will certainly help in expediting the natural process. Even though the sun was shining and the skies were blue, I couldn't seem to capture the right light somehow with my little Holga.

There just comes a time when you really need that bright heated sunlight to enhance the image.

But, the photo can still help you conjure up dreams of blazing fireplaces at night, a glass of Pinot Noir grasped tightly in your palm and a friend sitting snuggled up to keep warm.

The corn on the other hand I think brings to mind warm pumpkin pie set amidst the traditional faire of a Thanksgiving table.

It won't be long before families gather from near and far to share stories, food and of course all the gas that comes from eating Turkey. But to each season one must have tradition, whether it be falling asleep as the result of the natural triptophan in the bird or a long walk to 'air out' let's say, it's always a pleasure and a sure demarker that the year is coming to a close.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Not On My Command!

Why the long face one asks? "Let me tell you right now that comment has lost its beauty," said Charlie the ferocious watch dog.

If you're thinking about jocking this bike, my mom's bike, let me tell you something up front.. I might look like this lovely house pet, but should you decide to take a chance on taking this bike, you might want to think about the consequenses. I may look like a pushover but let me assure you I'm not.

Try me, go ahead, just open the gate and come in and see what happens.

In these photos I realized that I had one B/W shot left in the old Holga before switching to color so I blew it on the dog.

In the first one it appeared that he was trying to make a statement of some kind and the Holga seemed to capture that moment.

In the second, he decided to give me his most menacing look and I believe, after seeing him in this pose, that even I would not open the gate to my house uninvited, but that's for you to decide.

Charles, although cute, is quite the watchdog so beware. He may look like the perfect pet but never assume he is well behaved.

Go ahead, open the gate and take your chances! Don't say that I didn't warn you!!!!!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Family Fun...Not For Holga Competition!

Here are the photo's from a family birthday party. Ben turned eight years old this past week. That little face all aglow with happiness was worth hauling the Holga along to.


Good God how time flies. Because I only had a few shots left in the Holga some family members are not included including Uncle Skip, Sarah, Guy and Jessica.

Today was your lucky day Tammy. With the sun hidden once again behind too many cloud and because I was too tired from car shopping to try capturing anything today so instead I wanted to share my Holga birthday pictures. Not artsy in the way I'd like just captures of my wonderful family her in California.
But just a reminder--tomorrow is another day so watch your butt tomorrow.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

It's Not Always Just Black And White!

Next time I choose to experiment with film I hope to know what to do with the lighting.
After blowing eight out of ten polaroids today, boy was the exposure off, I finally managed to capture an image or two.

I realized that the flash made the polaroid completely white--like I'd never taken a picture in the first place, so I stopped using it all together.
But then, like an idiot (wait a minute I'm not the professional in this Holga experimental competition) instead of helping the cause without it, I started to shoot into the natural light rather than away from it.
Tammy, with whom I am competing with for the best shot of the day, has the unfair advantage of using pro equipment every day and knows exactly how to light the subject no matter what--even with the Holga. I think the fact that I finally made these two captures says something about my inate ability to persevere no matter how much it costs me in film and time.
This picture of the day lilies at the end of my driveway, although pleasing to my eye, has a quality that reminds me of a black and white negative. Interesting!

Tomorrow is another day and another shot. Tammy, I know you're out there with that little chunk of plastic camera trying to outshoot me but watch out, tomorrow I go back to color.

From Hell in Holga I bid you farewell for today!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Lions and tigers and...pumpkins...OH MY!

It's not hard to see that I'm watching you, waiting for an opportunity to do something so, well, something so evil it would make you pass from fright.

You don't even suspect that that warm rush of air on you leg as you pass by is passed from my soul out into the daylight.

I watch as you carry away my brothers and sisters one by one and I know their fate. I have sat gutted like this for years, watching and growing weary of our demise.

You say it's tradition to gut the orb then light a flame inside to assure everyone of it's untimely end.

Oh traditions to hell! Leave us to our patch, let us be free!

What the hell, who turned on the light's? I can't scare anyone with the day light's on, get out. You make me look like some kind of crazy mainiac. Don't you photographers know anything. There is a time and a place to use a flash and this is not one of them.

Oh, now I see, it's the damn Holga lady. She hasn't a clue what the hell she's doing. Maybe if I just smile she'll go away.

She's not leaving, oh wait, I think she realizes that she's about to waste another polaroid. Breath.

She's getting up, I feel the darkness return. Oh thank god for stupid photographers. It doesn't take them all that long to realize they are powerless to produce a perfect likeness of my soul!

See ya later lady...and take that damn camera with you!

Ha, I say.

Friday, October 21, 2005

The Great Pumpkin Quest...

With only a few days left to find the perfect pumpkin many are heading to the Tapia Brothers Farm on Havenhurst Boulevard in Encino.

Even the tiniest shoppers were busy touching, rolling, slapping and whatever else they needed to do to assure themselves that their choice was above and beyond perfection.

One and a half year old Stella was one of those busy little shoppers. She wandered about like every child does at such a wonderful place like this, eyes wide searching everywhere for something else to sate her curiosity. She moved about with effortless purpose from stall to stall eyeballing animals such a tiny ponies, rabbits and even a small black bull, but, it was the bright orange pumpkins that pulled her back into their circle over and over.

I would be lying if I didn't say that while watching her I was having multiple flashbacks to the first time I visited this pumpkin patch with my now 19 year-old daughter, then again with my son who is now 11. It was wonderful having this time to remember those early days with my then babies. It was an ahhhhhh moment!

Watching Stella, so new and fresh at this adventure, was like watching a blossom just as it's beginning to open. Still full of awe at the atmosphere in which she now exists, open to anything that crosses her path and sure that around every corner there will always be something new and exciting to touch her heart. What she can take away from this day is a memory of her and her mother stolling about on a sunny October afternoon at 'the pumpkin patch'.

How simple things are when you're looking at it like someone as young as Stella. It makes you realize that many of the complications in our lives are self-induced. Maybe if we all took the time to indulge in the occassional whimsey of a walk among these great orange orbs as I did today it could help us put things in perspective once in a while. Thank you Stella!!

Was this my lucky day? You betcha!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

A Wash With Color...

The rain has come and gone, the skies have cleared and brought a ray of sunshine back into our life.

Though the lightning and thunder and pelting rain wreaked havoc on the streets, freeways and hill sides before moving on, it left us a gentle reminder of its existance.

The Los Angeles Wash, or what many call the LA 'river', was busy helping move the water to less perilous destinations.

As I stood there watching the water flow by I was surprised by its calming factor. When I decided to check this site out thinking it would be Holga worthy, I had assumed it would be a raging torrent gushing towards the ocean, but instead it slid quietly along surrounded by its concrete barriers and chain link fence and very little debris.

If I had used something other than the Holga you most likely would have seen the wild morning glory cascading over the wall reflecting in the water below, but that of course would be cheating. What you see is what you get with this crazy little piece of equipment...that drives me crazy...I mean... that I love so much.

Well, tomorrow is another day and hopefully the sun will be shining, something prized by Holga users.

After nearly losing my camera into the waters below after bumping my arm into the fence I'm glad I was able to hold strong to that little plastic body image capturer.

Was it worth it? You betcha!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

It's Beginning To Look At Lot Like Christmas...

Driving around today I wasn't sure what I was looking for but knew eventually I'd come across something interesting.
I missed the garbage truck that was on fire in Studio City this morning and thought perhaps nothing else would come along that was Holga worthy--that is until I came across that jolly old man, Santa, right smack dab in the middle of Woodley Park in Encino.
What drew me to that area--your guess is as good as mine!
At first I was only lured by the camera crew and all their gear strewn about the park but once I started talking to a few of the crew members in the parking lot who were there to shoot an episode of the new hit series 'My Name Is Earl' I knew that I'd found my subject for the day.

Unfortunately the sun was blocked because they didn't want to have any shine on the old boy but they invited me to step forward and do whatever it took to get the shot and that's what I did--not fantastic but on film regarless of my lack of talent with this beastly camera so far!

The most amazing thing is that two or three people came up to admire my Holga and told me that they too used this blessed little plastic camera that refuses to give me fabulous shots to catch the more artsy side of the world-and they completely understood my pain.
When I walked away from the grassy set, I felt relieved that I'd found something unusal to shoot but also felt a sense of panic that Christmas was soon approaching.
Santa...if you're listening..I could really use a brighter flash!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Go Towards The Light...

All day I searched for something worthy to photograph, and just when I thought there was no hope I noticed the blooms on my rose bush were basking in this tiny little stream of light.
I ran inside, grabbed the Holga and just before a cloud passed over covering the sole light source I snapped this picture.
Unfortunately I forgot to turn off the flash otherwise you would have seen the beads of rain that had settled on each petal.
What I thought was interesting though about the rose bush itself was that these little buds seemed to have come out of nowhere since I had just pruned it about a week ago.
Guess the rain paid off after all!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Lightning Strikes Close To Home

Driving down Burbank Boulevard this morning just as a new thunderstorm broke loose, I saw a great flash in the sky about a quarter of a mile ahead. When I got closer I noticed that three palm trees were engulfed in flames after being struck by the lightning bolt I had just seen.

Since I have yet to figure out how to rearrange the photo uploads the pictures are out of order but you'll get the gist. The trees are in the middle and because I had just used up all my color film you are not able to see the flames shooting towards the sky.

The bottom photo shows (just barely) two firemen standing on the roof next to the burning trees and are preparing to hose them down. I wasn't quite sure why the fireman standing next to me said that I should probably move but I quickly found out. In the photo directly below you can see the powerful stream of water cascading through the air towards the flames. Guess where I am taking this photo from? You guessed it--directly in the line of fire so to speak. I don't know which I got the worst soaking from, the fire hose or the rain.

Was I glad I stopped to watch them in action? You betcha!

Big Sky LA Style

Although it may be hard to see amid the cloudy sky this morning over the Sepulveda Basin, there is a tiny little rainbow dead center in this picture.
Last nights storm most likely woke most of us up with its pounding thunder and amazing lightning.

I went out this morning to shoot a picture from Burbank Boulevard to show how a little rain can really mess up the 405 freeway, but to my amazement traffic was flowing better than I've ever seen it move at 8:30 in the morning. Go Figure!!!

The Holga, albiet interesting, is pissing me off with it's inability to really catch what I want to show. Damn you Tammy for getting me into this! Now I must carry two camera's, the Holga and a digital so that you can really see what the photo was meant to look like.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Empty Side Of The Bed

The place where my husband should be lying next to me in bed has been unmussed for more than a week now, he's away on business.
When I looked back at the bed from the window this morning where I was watching the sun rise I realized how incomplete my life is when he's not here. He's the zig to my zag if I may. I realized how much I miss him and his silly antics.
After 26 years of marriage we've become like a perfectly matched set of fine china. Take one piece from the setting and you feel it right down to the bottom of your soul that the world has become unbalanced and you wait patiently for the return of the missing piece.
Strangely enough, as I was sitting at my computer working on this blog, the phone rang and it was him calling from Prague.
It was as if he knew I was feeling strangely alone today. He said he'd written me a letter, it was in his coat pocket, and all our years together crazily flashed through my mind.
Because he's rarely written anything more that a few words at a time to me, usually on a card for a birthday or other milestone event, I felt a knot rise in my stomach and asked him casually "Is it over?"
He quietly said "No, it's exactly the opposite".
My heart filled along with my eyes because our love seems to be able to endure anything and everything.
I felt my arms quietly reach across the distance and embrace him as though he were right beside me. How I love this crazy guy!
Why his writing a letter to me would cause me to ask him this I don't know, guess it's just my imaginative side getting the best of me, because in all these years, through all the childrearing catastrophies and whatever else got put in our path, we've never so much as had an argument. We've never faltered and I feel so remarkable blessed by his presence in my life.
Do I feel lucky? You betcha!!!!

What's A Period Got To Do With It...........

Well, again Tammy has busted my chops because I don't have a period, (in my blogger address that is). Long are the days when I've thought about those dreaded days of, well, ya'll know where this is going so I won't go there, but, when it comes to putting a period in you URL address it makes all the difference in the world.
Again, another DUH!!!! moment in my pitiful computer ease.
Somewhere out there today, I will try to kick your butt and find a photo that will make you proud we're in this Holga competition Tammy. It's all about winning now, so watch out!

The Sun Always Rises-A New Day Begins

I took a photo this morning from the upstairs window with my new Holga. Where is it you ask? It's on my desk because I have not yet been able to upload my pictures to this blog because Internet Explorer does not seem to support this site other than with words.
I was so excited yesterday with a few of the photo's I took (even though there is no evidence that will show that I really did snap a few funny ones), but after spending countless hours yesterday (pulling my hair out) looking for the upload icon that never ever appeared they are all still precariously perched on my desk along with the sunrise shot. Even my Holga buddy, the infamous photojournalist Tammy, who seems to come alive at the helm of the computer, could not ease my pain at being so computer illiterate. She tried to upload them for me from her computer but couldn't. I have to admit however, that deep down inside my frustration turned to joy as I came to the realization that it's not me who has the problem, it's my crappy computer.
Hopefully I will be able to post them at a later time after I trash my current obsolete dinosaur of a computer (it's been put together and held together with band aids and spit) and step towards the future with a new fully loaded (2005-06) computer that will ease my frustration and allow me to do whatever I want.
I've never been a fancy schmancy computer person because as a writer all I need is a word processor and e-mail Hell, my old Commodor would have been fine, however, yesterdays experience made me feel like I was back in kindergarten (or brain dead).
So just like the weather, things change and we too should always keep changing to keep things fresh. Where will I spend my day--where else--at the computer store looking for a computer that likes me and visa-versa.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Change my life, you betcha!

I was feeling out of sorts this morning but now that I've gotten my hands on a Holga Camera, things are looking different.
It's not that the photo's are incredible or anything, it's the fact that it's cheap, fun and you get some fairly interesting if not downright crazy images.
After a gourmet breakfast with my photog friend pictured here, the one who turned me on to this little treasure, we headed to the camera store and picked up the built in flash model and some film and headed back to my place.
Sitting in the hot sun, polaroid after polaroid, I tried to figure out how to use the darn thing and discovered it's fairly easy even though, when the polaroid back is on, you cannot look through the eyepiece. It's kind of like a crap shoot but that's what makes each shot interesting.
I don't want to be a photographer, even though I've taken plenty of photo's, I just needed a little kick in the pants, something unexpected and this seems to be it.
The following will be the trails of my jouney with Holga in hand.o
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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

One day I was sitting in front of my computer trying to capture an image, but instead, the computer caught my soul. I have been living inside this little box for some time now and I like it when people visit. Come on, you know you want to tell me something...

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