Moving Day

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Here’s a photo of some loose hibiscus tea brewing in the window to celebrate moving day. Any Given Sundry is morphing into Any Given Sundry Too because I used up all the free space.

I’d appreciate very very much it if you could go there when you see a post.  That’s how it will get mapped and be searchable online. You can follow via WordPress, or sign up for email notification or click through when you see a post on Facebook, and you would be doing me a nice favor!

It’ll be my online home until I figure out the next step, if there is one. Knowing I was running out of space put a real crimp in my posting.

I’m going to try to post every day for the rest of June at least, to return to my old habit of a photo a day, which was a rich one. I’m going to Indiana for a couple of weeks so the posts will be 95% green. You will like it. Really, you will.

Thanks so much to my regular commenters, likers and readers!  You make this fun and un-lonely!

 

Milestoned – 3000th Post!

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This all started back in fall of 2005. My first post didn’t have a photograph. But the second one, on September 21, began a year-long commitment to take a photo a day.

I took on that challenge because I wanted to buy a nice, pricy Nikon. I didn’t want to just buy it and have it sit there staring at me like a cyclops regarding a dilettante.  I figured if I could take a photo a day for a year with my 3 megapixel Kodak, I’d figure out whether a) I’d really use a good camera, b)  I was any good at it, or c) I’d simply derive enough pleasure from it to warrent the expense.

I did it for a year, bought the camera, and continued my photo-a-day habit for another two full years.

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Me in the Kern River, photo by Hydra – cheap waterproof camera.

A lot of metaphors have passed under the bridge in the past 9 1/2 years.

A lot has changed in the writing world. It felt so good to just build a site and run with it. Putting my words and images out there without having to ask anyone’s permission felt very liberating. I started on Blogspot, but switched to WordPress in 2009.  None of the pictures from 2005 seem to be available to the blog anymore. I probably should have been backing this up somewhere, huh?

I wonder about blogging in general. All of us throwing all this material out there for free has devalued the work. Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut and my pictures to myself unless I could convince someone else to publish them. Maybe I would have had more energy to put into marketing my work if I weren’t goofing around on my blog. But then again, maybe no one would have bitten. As it is I’ve learned a lot. I think my prose style has improved, and my photographic skills, too.

I never figured out monetizing my blog. (Those Google ads you see? I get nothing from those, but I suppose they fund this amazing free adventure called WordPress.)

Focusing on one thing would have helped, but I have the curse of the generalist, I guess. I love it all! I don’t want to be held to one topic. Any Given Sundry, my own lovely little curse.

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My most popular post by far was “Ultimate Regifting – Artist’s Notebook,” in which I shared the sketchbook my mother, aka Kitty/Joan, returned to me. I gave it to her empty. She regifted it back to me years later, full of drawings like this one.  According to WordPress stats, more than 6,500 people have seen this post!

“Way Too Many Pictures of a Truck,” is popular, too, probably because I thought it looked like the truck from Duel. But it wasn’t. Which I admit in the post.

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One of the biggest surprises has been the response to this snapshot I took while sitting in traffic. It’s of the old Pacific Airmotive plant. There wasn’t much online about it, but between this site and it’s mirror on Blogspot, the post itself has become a place where people who worked there comment on what a great place it was.

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Stumbled onto this from 2006. I took that? I remember now.
It’s from “The other truth about Santa Monica.”

I was thinking about shutting down the blog earlier this year, but a few people talked me out of it. I still don’t know what I’m doing here, but I’m enjoying it.

I’ve started a few themed series. Now what do I do with them?

Taking a photo a day and sharing it, I have to admit, changed the way I look at the whole world.  When I’m out and about, I’m sometimes thinking of you, the folks who keep coming back or who pause here and say something nice. I think you might like to see this beautiful, or sad or interesting thing I found.

I also learned that the days when nothing particularly amazing is happening are often the days I find the best photos, which is why I just walked around the house and settled on the orchid for my 3000th post.

It’s been a good journey so far.

What’s next!?

 

 

 

 

Got Milk? Well… Got Luck! – Wednesday 5/13/2009


The most thoughtful Los Angelista invited me to a blogger’s event sponsored by the California Milk Board and their long-running “Got Milk?” advertising campaign. I was surprised to learn the slogan that spawned so many imitations has been around for 16 years. This event was part of their outreach to the Spanish-speaking audience with the similar “Toma Leche”.

The idea is to make a bunch of bloggers happy and tell them that drinking milk helps hair growth because it contains protein and vitamins. It was interesting to talk to bloggers about the ups and downs of these sorts of events, and to experience one first hand.

It was held at Estilo Salon on Beverly Boulevard in West Hollywood, which was a very comfortable place. Nice decor but not fussy.

That’s my hand getting a manicure from the lovely A, who is from Toronto originally. I am wearing a ring and earrings from Antipasta and a bracelet from Braveheart. I wear these pieces other times, but make sure to have them with me when I am going into a new situation or a writing-related event. They’re my talismans, my lucky stuff.

This was my first blogger event, and you’d think I’d be nervous, but just the fact that Los Angelista thought I was cool enough to be there made me feel at ease. I was curious about how these things go.

Photo by Emilio Flores

It was very interesting to meet other bloggers. I’m the one in the middle with the gift bag…more on that later. Left to right : NJ of Yellowbox, Los Angelista, me, Chatty of Constant Chatter on my right, and a writer’s assistant whose name I didn’t get.

It was cool being around other bloggers, because we are all making it happen for ourselves. I’m not saying that there is anything in the least wrong with traditional writing venues (in
which I continue to beleive), but writers are constantly asking permission to share their work and being denied access.

It was refreshing to talk about work we are actually doing, whether we’re being paid for it or not. There was no angst about “am I worthy to call myself a writer if I’m not being constantly published” which plagues many of us.

It made me feel even better about being here, doing this.


To add to the fun, there were fabulous tiny sweet things on hand, and a latte bar serving real live milk!


I happened to take this photo on my way to the salon, because it was good to see the Insomnia sign. Insomnia first opened near my apartment in Sherman Oaks years and years ago, and was a beloved hangout. I included Milk in the photo because of the bulding, and as it turned out, they provided the treats pictured above.


That’s Roberto Ramos giving consultations on the right. I was the second person to get a consult. He was a lot of fun, and very easy to talk with. We bargained for the amount of time I’d be willing to spend every day on my hair and shared a laugh. He did almost nonstop consultations for about 2 hours. Must have been tiring, but he was very gracious about it.

Up top, there’s a DJ who kept the music going all night.


Looking down on the event from next to the DJ. I didn’t go up there. This is another Emilio Flores photo, sent to me by the folks at “Got Milk?”


I don’t know why I look so apologetic in this photo. I’m having a great time. Cool mirror shot of Chatty taking the photo, yes? And that’s Emilio Flores on the left, taking his own pix.


Los Angelista gets advice. I didn’t hear everything he said, but I did get that he didn’t tell her to get her hair straightened. Good man. Thank goodness, her tiny curls are just adorable. He seems to flow with women’s instincts for their hair and build on that.

He said I’m doing mine almost half right. Suggested some products and some layers in the bottom. Actually, it sounds like the way I was having it cut before I had the layers cut out in February as an experiment.


I wish I remembered this lovely person’s name, or the name of the writer she assists. This was late in the evening and she’d waited a long time.


Okay, drumroll folks! They gave away three levels of gift certificates for salon services at Estilo: $75, $125 and $200.

And guess who won the $200!

Yeah! Me!

Boy, I really need this. I was just thrilled. I hope I thanked everyone enough.

I called the next day and made an appointment for the week before I go to Indiana, which will be two weeks before my 30th high school reunion. [Jeez, that always sounded soooo impossible up until now…. No, actually, it still sounds impossible. Little ol’ me?]

Roberto Ramos is going to make me look just like Jessica Alba, whose hair he also does. Along with a lot of other gorgeous celebs. Okay, not just like Jessica. Maybe I could aim for Bette Midler, though?


What a fun evening. Dodger was very curious about my gift bags when I arrived home.


“Got Milk” gear and a pampering kit were in the bags. I gave them to my neighbor, who is in his mid-to-late twenties and will give them to his friends. There’s also a tee shirt.

All in all, very interesting and fun evening.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes – Wednesday 9/24/2008


Or, Here Are Some Pretty Flowers for You.

See? Even I am getting bored with this posting a photo every day thing.

Or, not really so much bored as frustrated that I sometimes get behind in posting due to lack of time to post or to delays in Blogger uploading photos. And then the pix are old and the news is old.

And, truthfully, you are missing out on the pithiest of pith because often when I actually have something to say, the looming aspect of the posts I have not gotten to stifles me. So I go back and fill in, and by that time I have forgotten my Most Amazing Thoughts.


Like this one: That Henry Paulson looks way too much like one of the super-creepy gentlemen from the “Hush” episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer for comfort.

See? Wouldn’t you rather have amazingly pertinent and important comments like that when the mood hits me than a photo a day? Especially when it gets to the point that I am taking photos of each and every flowering thing in my yard.

I’ve taken a photo a days and blogged about it since September 21, 2005. Three years!

So spooky as it feels, I’m going to change that now and just cool it a bit. Probably will still post very frequently.

Jimmy Helps Make the Bed – Tuesday 3/25/2008


When I return from my morning ablutions, there’s Braveheart’s darling, giving me the Kitty Power Glare. “You will rub my belly. You will call in late and you will stay and you will ruuuuuuub my belly.”


Momentarily distracted by the usual belly-rub suppliers rustling in their sleep.


Okay. Back to me and my belly.


Oof. That was good.

Why are you still here?

And now for a little more on meeting Los Angelista yesterday. I just wanted to offer her anonymity if she wanted it. Are those of you who have been dragged into my blog with nicknames you had no control over wondering why she gets this option? Braveheart? Tomasina? Hydra? Bells?

I dunno, it just felt like the thing to do at the time.

Anyway, she wrote about it on her blog quite cleverly and I thought I’d share a little more too. On my blog. Because she deals with really important things over there. I have to say that Los Angelista has spurred me to write things in response to her posts that are more challenging and make me think about the world and myself in it more than the stuff I tend to post here. She’s already been a good influence on me.

It was great. I was more worried that I wouldn’t measure up than that she wouldn’t. Although there was that IM conversation with Toronto in which I joked that we were meeting on a trail in the middle of Griffith Park and she said next to a shallow grave in the Angeles National Forest might also be appropriate. Then she said she’d come to my funeral. Aren’t my friends sweet!? I think I’d draw a nice crowd. Just watch out for the e-vile blog lurkers… 😉

I have met people from the Internet since the days of the BBS Boards when all we had were words made of green or amber light to connect us. (Got that campfire feeling yet, kiddies?)

I think the first person we met was from rec.pets.birds. She worked at Sea World and took us into the lab behind the penguin house where we met and petted penguin #154. A high-water mark in this bird-fan’s life, let me tell you! That was the late 80s.

I met a woman from a Ralph Fiennes fan list a couple of times. We were the ones who told ourselves we were on the list because of the high quality of his films, rather than the high quality of his face. We talked about all kinds of movies, etc. when we met and then she transferred to England to work. Hmm, I never put that together before, but she didn’t seem like the stalker type….


People from that same fan list got together to see the premiere of The Avengers in Westwood. I don’t know whether it was that the film was so laughably awful or that one of the women at dinner afterward showed off a People or Us magazine article about her being Ralph Fiennes’ Biggest Fan (complete with photographs of her in the middle of a room stuffed with memorabilia) but I dropped off the list shortly after. Perhaps it was the sense that this was the shape of things to come!

I’ve met a couple of other random folks, one of whom seemed a little odd online and turned out to be a little odd in person, but not dangerous.

Last May, a person I met on 43Things hosted Hydra, my mom and I overnight in her home in LaHavre! It was the most amazing thing for her to do for us. A terrific first night in France that will never be forgotten. Sitting up late at her kitchen table, drinking wine after dinner and talking politics with her and her husband.

I think we all have pretty good instincts about each other and that you can’t hide long-term, even online, if you write about what is important to you. None of the meet-ups were with people who I’d only exchanged a few lines with.

Another good experience chalked up, thanks to Los Angelista. And an introduction to the Casbah Cafe, too!