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Posts tagged “Life

Uh Oh, I’m Sick (Japan – Autumn 2018 Day 11)

No fun adventures had. No plethora of photos. No good foods eaten.

I went to bed last night with a raging sore throat and hoped for the best, that I’d wake feeling better… but that did not happen.

Despite wanting to get out of bed and make the most of my day this cold was bad enough that it felt best to stay in bed and rest… I slept this day away, not waking until sometime after 5pm.

My throat is about half as sore as it was this morning, so there is improvement. Currently I am laying awake at 10 pm, editing photos because I am having trouble falling asleep… gotta get the photos ready to update to the past few days of blogs that I have already typed up and are waiting to be published.

Paulina was a sweetheart and walked over to Lawson to fetch a salad and a hot lemon and honey drink for me… that warmed my heart as well as soothed my throat.

Here is to hoping that I’ll be fully recovered on the morrow.


Day #76 – A Photo A Day 2013

It’s late! I’m just now getting around to posting today’s pic, one that I snapped two weeks ago when I was roaming around San Francisco. (I miss my new home! Returning there in two days yay!)

San Francisco has no shortage of interesting things to look at and in turn, for me to photograph. 😉

The Holy Cow Mascot

The Holy Cow Mascot

This cow hangs above the door of The Holy Cow Nightclub – when I first moved to San Francisco, this cow was one of the first things that greeted me but then he was a metallic gold! I walked past here hoping to get a better pic than I did last time, but now he’s such a lovely shade of neon pink that I didn’t mind that the gold was gone. 🙂

I used Tangled FX and Photo FX to edit this photo.

Day #73 – A Photo A Day 2013

A quick post for today – a snap I took on Mount Sutro last week:

Mount Sutro Sunshine

Mount Sutro Sunshine

I used Tangled FX layered with a couple of effects and then altered the trees and tree tops with ElastiCam. I obsess over the details, so this edit took quite a bit of time.

Day #71 – A Photo A Day 2013

Trains are a never ending source of fascination to me and in particular I really like the BART Powell St. Station in San Francisco. Part of this may be a connection to it since my very first BART ride destination after leaving SFO was to that particular station.

I also really like the lines of that particular stop – so many textures and since the tunnel is so long at that point it gives me a chance to get really nice lines in the (excessive amounts of) photos that take of the station.

Warped Speed - at the Powell St. BART Station

Warped Speed – at the Powell St. BART Station

This was taken as I was waiting for BART to take me to SFO last weekend. I really wanted to capture the motion of the train as it was coming in for a stop and I felt inspired to not only run it through Tangled FX but also played around with it in ElastiCam, made by Lucky Clan. I only warped the windows of the train to give it a sense of faster motion while maintaining the integrity of the lines of the rest of the train.

ElastiCam takes a bit of getting used to, not that it’s difficult to use – quite the opposite actually, but fine-tuning just how sensitive you do or do not want the effect to be to the touch of your finger takes a bit of time. At first I found myself over-applying effects, but once I got used to gently dragging and adjusting the strength of the effect, I found it to be extremely fun and satisfying to watch the transformation to my photo.

Day #70 – A Photo A Day 2013

Quick post today – I have much left to do today (I’m in Portland visiting family and friends!) but I’m still committed to making my daily posts!

Today’s is #3 from the #7faceless challenge that Sumsion challenged us to on Instagram:

Day #3 of the #7faceless Challenge

Day #3 of the #7faceless Challenge

Day #68 – A Photo A Day 2013

Since I posted a rather serious picture yesterday it seemed fitting that I post Day #2 of Sumsion’s #7faceless challenge – it’s a much more light hearted post!

Yesterday’s photo was all about a time in my life when things seemed dark and un-fixable, a very sad time for me. Today’s picture is all about where I am today – joyful and content, rejoicing in my life and in the wonderful blessings that I enjoy every day:

Dancing With Joy = #7faceless Challenge

Dancing With Joy = #7faceless Challenge

I really didn’t do much editing to this one – just added a vignette and toned down the colors a teeny bit.
It took SO MANY TAKES to actually capture my dancing without having my face in focus! I finally just twirled several times to get the effect I wanted and even then I took a lot of photos before I finally found one that seemed suitable within the confines of this challenge.

Life is good!

Day #67 – A Photo A Day 2013

Instagram has been one way that I have been sharing my photography for two years now and in those two years I have found quite a few amazing artists that have greatly encouraged me to continue pushing the envelope of my creativity.

One of people who has influenced me the most is Sumsion – I was going to link to his Statigram page, but he’s turned off public viewing, which is disappointing to me because I would love to share his work here as well. (he is simply amazing!)

Sumsion’s latest challenge is a self-portrait challenge but the trick is to not have your face in focus. So far, this has been a very difficult challenge for me!

This is my first submission:

Blown Away - for the #7faceless Challenge on Instagram

Blown Away – for the #7faceless Challenge on Instagram

When I uploaded this to Instagram, some people that know me in “real life” were concerned because it seemed a bit dark. I explained that this is not representative of me now, but rather that it was how I felt at a certain point in time in my past – I felt like who I was had been completely blown away, destroyed and empty. I was having difficulty deciding just how to begin this challenge until a conversation I had earlier that day reminded me of that dark time and inspiration hit me.

I knew immediately what I wanted to do with my self-portrait, and after a couple of hours of experimentation, I found the right combination of app layering to actually achieve what you see here. This was a difficult one to actually upload for public consumption on Instagram – I felt like I was revealing quite a bit of myself without telling all of the personal details and I felt a bit of trepidation as I hit that upload button.

Immediately after, I felt almost a feeling of relief akin to happiness in that moment.

These challenges that Sumsion has presented to his followers have not only been pivotal points that have pushed me creatively but have also been instrumental in self-exploration and have taught me quite a bit about myself, even as far as really revealing to me how I view myself both externally and as a person.

Day #63 – A Photo A Day 2013

At the risk of redundancy I am posting yet another pic edited in Tangled FX because I simply cannot get enough of that app!

I layered two different Tangled FX effects for this picture of one of the Chinese Dancing Lions at the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade.

Dancing Lion at the Chinese New Year Parade 2013

Dancing Lion at the Chinese New Year Parade 2013

I really wish that I knew exactly how this app works – it’s so fascinating! This picture was already a little blurry because of the motion of the lion so I felt that it would be perfect to use the “blurred” effect to make it a little less noticeable. That didn’t quite give me the results that I wanted so I layered the “smooth fibers” effect over it as well to sharpen it up a little and to give the picture a bit more depth and detail.

Day #48 – A Photo A Day 2013

Chris and I have decided to do more things together that are physically active. When we were looking for an apartment here, we saw these basketball courts near one of the apartment complexes that we toured and made a note to go back.

Yesterday we went there to shoot hoops, and ended up going again today, vowing to make this our weekend morning tradition. We had such fun! It made me realize just how awful at shooting baskets I have become but it’s still fun nonetheless and I’m determined to up my skill level to what it used to be. (or at least try!)

Chris was getting some serious air time – he says that he wasn’t jumping high enough, but I was certainly impressed and of course I brought out the iPhone to snap some pics, much to his chagrin but he was still a sweetie and didn’t complain.

Chris - Michael Jordan Style

Chris – Michael Jordan Style

We played at the Berry Street Basketball Courts at the end of Mission Creek Park – there is also a sand volleyball court there too!

It’s underneath Highway 280 which provides some nice shade and an interesting setting. It’s clean and quiet and steps away from Mission Bay and a super nice walkway along the water, which is the route that Chris and I like to take to walk there.

I’m sure we will have many more happy one-on-one games there! It’s a nice spot.

Back to Blogging!

The time has come for me to start blogging regularly – actually it’s past time, and I am determined to keep the blogging up, especially since I’ve just moved to San Francisco and I want to record all of the adventures I encounter in my new life here with my husband! Packing up my home was bittersweet – happy to be newly married to Chris, but also leaving my family and dearest friends in and near the city that I have always lived in.

In the process of packing things up, sorting through belongings to decide what to give to charity was the hardest part, but the farther into the process I was, the easier it became.

Anything that was not used within the last year or two was given away and it felt so freeing to see all of those stored things go away! It’s also a nice feeling to know that my donations help to keep people employed, too.

In all, I donated 3/4 of my possessions and I don’t miss any of it!

It was a little stressful to prepare to leave Portland, but little did I know what would happen just before I was scheduled to leave town.

Monday the 7th was spent loading my section of a UPak trailer from ABF Freight. Chris (Sacco) and Daniel came over to help, as did my Dad so things were loaded very quickly. In fact, we had it loaded within 3 hours, so ABF was able to pick up the trailer that same afternoon! ABF was courteous and the whole process went smoothly.

As it turns out, packing things up would be the easy part.

That night was spent at my best friend’s house, even though he wasn’t home from Hawaii yet.

Tuesday the 9th I woke and began to get ready to go back to my place to get the odds and ends still left in my townhouse packed up and taken to Goodwill. While I was in the middle of eating a bite for breakfast, my Dad called to say that he was calling an ambulance for Mom to go to the hospital.

She would not fully wake up and could not talk – she had been sick for a week with some sort of “stomach flu” and at the time we wondered if the illness was getting worse.

Mom was in the hospital from last Tuesday (the 9th) until Sunday afternoon. She had been vomiting for almost a week, and that morning woke up un-able to communicate with my Dad.

They took her to the ER, and admitted her to the hospital. She had become dehydrated, and because of the stomach bug she had, her sugar levels had risen quite dangerously (over 300 points). That, coupled with infection that had spread into her bloodstream affected her brain function severely. There were several of us there in the room with her for several hours that night, but she didn’t remember that at all.

The next day, she would slip in and out of being coherent and cognizant of her surroundings. At one point, I talked to her for an hour and a half straight, but later she didn’t remember anything we had talked about… just some minor details. It was so bad that she even had some hallucinations… she thought that she was being moved from hospital to hospital and then finally stayed at the one she really was in. This continued for a few days – you never knew if she was going to be clear headed or completely foggy.
The doctors told my Dad that she’s dying, but we already knew that – interestingly, they didn’t communicate that to Mom, but perhaps that was because she was always cognizant of what was going on . They said that they cannot put a time frame on it though, that it was impossible to guess when we might expect her to pass on. Mom has known for quite a while that she’s been slowly dying, and she’s okay with it – that helps me deal with it better. She and I have been discussing this for a long time, so while it won’t be easy, and I certainly don’t want her to pass on, I am prepared as much as I can be, I suppose.
They pushed her hard to be put in a nursing home, right down to making the arrangements for a specific place WITHOUT talking to my Dad or Mom or any other family member. There were a few arguments between Dad and the main doctor, and then an argument between my Mom and the doctor. I hate how they try to push things on you. They know that she’s dying, and she specifically said that she wants to pass on at her own home, where she is comfortable and happy, yet they still tried to push it on her.
She’s doing much better than she was at the hospital. Just after one day of her being home, I can see a huge difference in the quality of her communication and her retention of conversations that we have. Her mood is much lighter too, and I suspect that this upswing in mood contributes greatly to the increased memory retention.
On a lighter note, the move to San Francisco has gone well! My things were delivered here on Monday – we used a local day labor service that was recommended by Pinterest to hire two men to help us unload and carry my things up to our apartment.

All of that took about an hour with the four of us unloading (the two hired men and Chris and I). It would not have taken that long if we had not had such a long walk through the parking garage! They made it sound like we could unload everything onto the dock and then right up an elevator… well, the dock was taken up by large trash bins and recycling bins, so it didn’t leave us much room to unload things directly ponto the garage floor behind the trailer. We would take some things out, stack it up, and then start carrying or wheeling things through the garage, up a short ramp to the next garage level, walk several yards then turn a corner and go into the elevator area. Phew! We were all very sweaty and tired after all of that, but at least it went quickly.

I have spent the past two days un-packing and finding homes for things. I discovered that a couple of boxes that I had intended to take to Goodwill got packed in the trailer, I suspect by one of my two friends that was helping me load the trailer back at my old place. Oh well! I may have more things here that I could part with as well, so I see a run to Goodwill using our new ZipCar membership in our future. 🙂 (I sold my car to my Parents since I won’t need to use a car here very often)
I still have many things to write about from the past few weeks, and I’m not sure where to start! I should have a bit of time later this evening to sort out a few pics from my first weekend living in San Francisco, and then I’ll work backward to the wedding.

Off I go to run some errands!


No Post Yesterday!?!?!

EEP! I ruined my (small) posting streak! Today I will post twice – right now about today and later about yesterday.

Today was a not-so-great day, but I’m turning the evening around! I’m relaxing now while dinner cooks… well, as much relaxing as you can do while your’re having to go back to the stove.

Weather was practically warm compared to the last couple of weeks of temperatures in the 30’s. It must have been 50-something today, and I was absolutely craving a nice long hike.

Nope, I don’t even care that it would be muddy up on the trails. A long, strenuous hike is exactly what I needed and wanted today, but that will have to wait for a new pair of hiking boots. 🙂

Blogging Again

I used to blog all the time… every day, even several times in a day. I used my blog as a way to remember special moments, catalog ideas and sometimes just express creativity or the emotion of the moment.

During a not-so-happy period in my life, I lost the desire to blog, and with that diminished desire also faded a creative part of me that I thought I could never find again.

Fast forward a few years from that time and you will find me a much more happy, well-rounded individual with a renewed desire to be creative and expressive once again. Will I post anything personal here? Perhaps. Mostly I think I’ll record thoughts and opinions, with perhaps a bit of creative writing for public consumption, if I feel brave enough.

For now, I am making a commitment to myself to blog at least once a day, even if it’s an un-important and drab post about a menial task or a passing thought. I think sticking to this discipline may give me the boost I need to motivate myself toward a more productive and thoughtful blog perhaps.




First Post!

My my, what an original title! I have to wonder just how many new blogs have that exact same title for their first post.

Ah well, why break with tradition?

At this time, I intend to use this blog mainly for creative writing, but perhaps there will be an editorial here and there, with a sprinkle of life updates.