Dec 31, 2008

it's in the can.

it's the last day of the year.

man. this year has suuuuckkkked.
and all because we didn't eat black-eyed peas on new year's the beginning of this year.
i know it.

so i won't be making the same mistake this year. i bought 'em yesterday. we're eating 'em tomorrow.

(BTW: i'm not sure how or why the italic is stuck on, but it is. deal with it.)

yesterday, i promised photos of me sledding. here's the problem: no one actually got a shot of me going down the hill...only walking back up it.
which completely sucks.
take my word for it, it was fun. WAY more fun than Disneyland, and, if you know me, that is saying something.

here's the Husband. reminds me a little of a girlie exam, what with his legs in the air and all.

the Niece. on the other side of the wash from us. Little Miss Independence walked over there where some teenagers were sledding, and announced, "hey! watch out! i'm coming down!!"

no fear there.

this could be me. or not. looks good either way.

happy lad.
and another one.

just more evidence that everything looks better covered in snow.
and to you, Gentle Reader -
the happiest of new year's to you and yours. may 2009 be everything you want and need it to be.
and thanks for sticking around to read my babblings for another year.
see you next year.

Dec 30, 2008

Christmas '08 is in the books.

and what a Christmas it was.

we drove up Sunday to my brother in law's in northern California and spent the night. the next day we headed over the summit to my sister in law's for the fun.

we had to chain up partway across the summit...THAT was fun and the best damn $40 we spent.

of course, i could blah, blah, blah for ever, but what you want are photos.
and i believe in giving the public what they want.

yeah, i know. it's a fountain. but it's a frozen fountain. the only thing flowing is the top part. the rest of it is water falling down ice. just before i took it, there was a bird having a drink.

talk about an ice cold soda.

the Boy and i - taken by his sister. see - only two chins this time. i knew i liked that girl.

speaking of...

i don't think i need to explain i?

Christmas lights. in the snow. on the roof of the garage. cool stuff.

i love the insanity of presents with kids.
i love sitting in my sister-in-law's bedroom for three hours wrapping gifts.
i love the view from my niece's bedroom.
i just plain love being there.
tomorrow: the last post of the year and photos of me sledding. for real.

Dec 21, 2008

over the river and through the Tejon pass...

welcome to hell. otherwise commonly known as the American Road Trip.

not that road trips are always hell...we usually have fun on ours. but the Husband and i are soft Californians.

we can drive in smog. heck, i can drive through an earthquake and not even bat an eye.
but snow & ice, well... neither one is in our comfort zone.

and a Fat Girl is all about comfort.

it also doesn't help that i believe my mother (AKA Most High Priestess of Worry-Warts) is convinced that we are going to die in the snow.

why? check this out:
"when you're heading up there, if you have to pull over in the snow, DON'T leave the engine running. the snow could cover your exhaust pipe and if you fall asleep you could die of carbon monoxide poisoning.''

thanks mom. i feel so much better.

heck, she even gave the Husband money so he could buy survival blankets at the gun show yesterday.

but - today is the day.

we head up to spend Christmas with the Cutest Kids in Reno, after a stopover at my brother-in-law's here in northern California. then tomorrow, it's over the Donner Pass (yes, THAT Donner Pass) to Reno.

i'll try to post from the road. and just in case things don't go well at Donner, i'll bring hot sauce.
you don't eat a good man like him all at once, y'know.

Dec 14, 2008

a legend in my own mind.

one of the advantages of self confidence is just that: you believe in yourself. you have confidence. the belief that, in most things, you can do anything.

of course, the disadvantage of self confidence IS that you believe in yourself and that you can do anything.

and heaven knows, that ain't always right.

for example:
i can cook. i've always cooked, ever since i was a kid i was making messes in the kitchen. i took cooking classes in college. my lasagna is in high demand, not only in my family, but with some of my friends.

therefore, i become a legend in cookery. no one else in the world can cook as well as i.

until i find several people that not only cook well, they cook MUCH better than i do. then i'm depressed.

stupid, huh?

ego is an amazing thing. without some of it, you can become road kill in the emotional highway of life. with it, you run the risk of becoming Tom Cruise. not necessarily jumping on Oprah's couch, but starting to believe your poo doesn't reek.

for example, in case you didn't notice, i take pictures. some are OK. some are killer and a lot of 'em are crap.

don't argue. i know they're crap. i've seen em, remember?

but - give me a new, bad-ass camera and some lucky shots and suddenly i think i'm freakin' Ansel Adams.

so not the case. but i get lucky sometimes, which is what i think happens with all of us. you write a best seller, you got lucky. you cook dinner without burning it and everyone loves it, you got lucky.

skill+ability+karma=lucky shot.

but again, give me a cool camera, and suddenly i think i can do no wrong. which i can, and often do, but i still get lucky.

and i've got to remember that luck doesn't always equal talent. but enough of talent and luck can make me a legend. if only in my dreams.

peace out.

Dec 8, 2008

pretty photos and ugly fish.

Sunday, i was a Pomona Widder.

a Pomona Widder, for those of you not in the know, is a wife, not interested in cars (except to drive) and therefore is NOT interested in going to a HUGE MASSIVE ALL DAY LONG AFFAIR car parts (and everything else) swap meet out at the L.A. County Fairgrounds in Pomona...about 40 minutes from our abode.

now, i have done this swap meet before, or, as i call it, the Death March of Pomona. it seriously does take you all day to go through it. in the summer it's hot and you come home looking like a cooked lobster, sans drawn butter. go in the winter and you likely will freeze to death, gladly looking for the local beer stand so you can warm up.

beer can do what coffee can't.

so while Husband had some male bonding time, i was left to my own devices. and those devices turned out to involve a photo field trip.

California State University Long Beach is home to a small, but impressive, Japanese garden. it's closed on Mondays & Saturdays (not sure why on Mondays, but on Saturdays they're closed for weddings. i was at one there once...lovely, but hard to hear and no chairs. you stood for an hour.)
so i decided to go have some fun.

while the whole place has a wonderful calm air in it, even with about 25 other people there - along with a couple in their early 20s who apparently had nothing better to do than to walk around and take pictures of themselves.
gaaaah that was annoying.

colorful, yes. graceful and stately, yes. but uggggggggggggggg-leeeeeeeeeeeeee.

U.G.L.Y. you ain't got no alibi you ugly - hey!hey! you ugly!

but you do photgraph well. even for my own lucky shot.

Dec 7, 2008


this is what a baby looks like when you are booked to take her Christmas card photo during her 'cranky time.'

no dammit. i won't pose for you.
or maybe i will.
or not.
ok. i'll cooperate and look adorable.

even the dog wants to thank you for finally cooperating.

Merry Christmas.

Dec 5, 2008

good grief.

Tuesday night, i called my mom just to see how they were doing.

normally, i go over every Wednesday, but this time i had booked time with a girlfriend so the Husband (aka Computer Geek) could work on her computer.

"well," she said about half way thorough our conversation, "since you accuse me of never telling you anything, i have something to tell you."

my mind ran through a variety of very important information that i would likely need to know...and probably wouldn't have been told:
* the house burned down.
* my stepfather was in the hospital.
* the huge tree in the backyard fell over and smashed the house.
* all the cats were dead.
* my mom was in the hospital, the cats were all dead because the tree fell, smashed them and in the meantime the house burned down and my stepfather burned his bum trying to put the fire out.

ain't i a freaking ray of sunshine?

nope. none of the above. my mom (who, unfortunately, i get all my grace and balance from) slipped off the back porch steps (only two, and maybe about 16" off the ground), fell face forward into the stucco enclosed gas meter and sprained the hell out of her ankle.

(and it did occur to me that likely the only reason she told me this had happened WAS because i was due to be over the next day. that kind of messed up, you can't hide.)

she is messed up.

to quote the doctor, a severely sprained ankle. a messed up back. a messed up knee.(she doesn't have good ones to begin with. hey - great idea: let's make a bad thing even better!!) a HUGE fat lip and a triangle shaped bruise that starts at her bottom lip and tapers down just past her chin.

and with all this, what is she the most worried about?
not making her quilting club's Christmas party in a few weeks.

daaaang. i want that kind of concern in my life. it rocks to be retired.
it just doesn't rock to be a turtle at the bottom of the stairs.

in other news...

one of the girls i've worked with, and who is in our birthday dinner club, had mentioned a few months ago that she was interested in me taking pictures of her 18 mth. old great niece for their Christmas cards.

tonight was that night.

i got over there about 6pm, just like she asked me to. Miss Sarah, who is a TOTAL hambone whenever the dang camera comes out was totally ready for her close up, Mr. DeMille.

this kid, like my niece, knows how to work that camera. without being told, the girl can totally turn it on and gives you, the photographer what you dream of capturing.

tonight though - not so much. and auntie & mommy both said to me, well, this is the time when she gets cranky.

ohfortheloveofgawdandallthatisholy. tell me why you would want to try and take pictures of a kid deliberately during her cranky time?

sheesh. it's like poking a stick at a chick on her period. you just don't do it, man.

luckily, i still got some good and some killer shots. and finally when i said, enough is enough - for both our sanity's, i felt pretty good about it. especially after i got home and started cropping and tweaking.

not that kind of tweaking. sheesh.

but, the only opinion that counts is auntie's. and she is a hard one to please.
not only that, but if she feels slighted or pissed off or even unhappy, she will tell everyone. then be kind enough to smile to your face.

love those kind of people, don't you?

photos and medical updates to come. happy Friday, peeps!