Dialogue 2: Looking Back at Redwood City’s Annual (2014) Fourth of July Parade

So many things to love about self’s current abode, Redwood City. The annual Fourth of July Parade is surely one of them.

And what would a Fourth of July Parade be without at least a couple of fresh-faced beauty queens?

Below, shots of the same float, from different points of the parade route, and from different angles (wide shot to close-up).

She’s still trying to come up with interpretations of this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge: DIALOGUE. Which to self means exploring a set of pictures for what they reveal about a photographer’s “sensitivity to certain content or visual elements.”

To self, the pictures below highlight self’s sensitivity to — people watching? Public display? Patriotic holidays? She can’t be quite sure.

DSCN6510
DSCN6473
DSCN6471

Watching the parade always sets off in self a powerful feeling of nostalgia.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Dialogue: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is another — ehem — challenging one.

DIALOGUE

They want you to post a pair of photographs that, “when placed next to each other,” open “up to meanings that weren’t there when viewed alone.”

So here’s self’s first attempt:  two photographs of the Blessed Virgin, both taken at Mission San Gabriel in southern California, Sunday Aug. 24. The only reason she was at the Mission was to meet an old high-school classmate from Manila, Connie Genato, who was singing at the 11:15 mass.

The Blessed Virgin Mary is iconic in Roman Catholicism, and an object of particular veneration in the Philippines (colony of Spain for 333 years!)

A statue of the Blessed Virgin In Mission San Gabriel

A statue of the Blessed Virgin In Mission San Gabriel, near Los Angeles

Another statue of the Blessed Virgin taken at Mission San Gabriel, this one just outside the church

Another statue of the Blessed Virgin taken at Mission San Gabriel, this one just outside the church

In and of themselves, these photographs are nothing much. Together, though, they seem to speak of a child-like simplicity that self finds particularly touching.

Self has tons of other Blessed Virgin pictures. She might look for those and add later, if she has time.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

California’s Drought, 2014

From the San Francisco Chronicle, Aug. 25, 2014:

California is pumping itself dry.  As the drought deepens, desperate farmers are turning to groundwater, using the supply at nearly double the normal rate. It’s a short-sighted practice that needs thought and planning, not the open-tap treatment groundwater now gets.

*     *     *

In ever-watchful California, groundwater is an oddity, unmetered and uncontrolled, with landowners free to pump without limit.  This is the only state to take such a laissez-faire attitude, a vestige of the Gold Rush era.

As the drought heads into its third year, the policy is a disaster. Groundwater now accounts for 60 percent of the water usage, up from 40 percent. Well drillers are among the busiest workers in farm country, as agriculture pushes ever deeper to supplemental supplies.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fray

It was hard for self to think of ways to capture this week’s theme, FRAY. But she thinks Ese’s Voice did spectaculary well!

Kudos.

Ese' s Voice

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The Heat (August 2014)

Seven-hundred dead in Chicago in 1995.  Fifty-thousand across Europe in 2003. Eleven thousand in Russia in 2010. Heat waves have become hotter, longer and more frequent in recent decades, and scientists predict that climate change and the growth of cities — which trap heat — will boost body counts.

But what if we could see the heat coming ahead of time?

From “Red Alert”, by Ariel Sabar, Smithsonian Magazine, September 2014

Fray 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Met a Daly City high-schooler touring Dublin with her Mom, on the top floor of the Hop-On Hop-Off bus on the sunniest day in Dublin:

Met Francesca and her Mom when she was on the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus around Dublin. They're from Daly City, CA. (Their ponytails are FRAYED)

Met Francesca and her Mom when she was on the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus around Dublin. They’re from Daly City, CA. (Their ponytails are slightly FRAYED)

Was reading a newspaper one lunchtime in Lincoln’s Inn, close to the National Gallery of Ireland.

Reading a Frayed Newspaper: Lincoln Bar, Dublin, June 2014

Reading a Frayed Newspaper: Lincoln’s Inn, Dublin, June 2014

And spent two nights in Cork in June:

Found this slim poetry collection in her room in Café Paradiso, Cork, Ireland. The cover is slightly FRAYED.

Self found this slim poetry collection in her room in Café Paradiso, Cork, Ireland. The cover is slightly FRAYED.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

A Dream

Oh Lord, it is soooo hot.

Self was driving madly around LA just a few days ago, and now she is home.

But it is just as hot as it was in LA. With the added bother that much of her garden looks ready to expire and it is hard to water because it is so hot. Not to mention that there is a drought so one should really NOT be watering.

Self has not found time to search for more photographs on this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge:  FRAY. She commonly writes four or five posts on the week’s theme, but so far this week she’s only written one.

She peruses other bloggers’ sites and found this series of pictures of lightning (which frays the sky? She guesses that must have been what the blogger was thinking) which were interesting.

Oh Lord, her arm hurts. Is practically stiff from all the commenting on student pieces.

Last night she dreamt (or was it really happening?) that she was experiencing a terrific pain in her chest. Then her Altima plunged off a pier and straight into some water, and very slowly disappeared. With herself in it. So that means she died. End of story! The dream continued, though. She was inexplicably able to move through space as if she were alive. What does that mean? It was all confusing as heck.

Then she went to Barnes & Noble, where it was very airconditioned, and she couldn’t find any books by Shusako Endo or Jim Crace or Sarah Shun-lien Bynum. She took so long searching the book aisles that by the time she returned home, The Man was home. He always parks so snugly, almost blocking her access to the only driveway. Seems almost like a challenge, the way he parks. She’s tried to figure out the motivation, but so far it has eluded her. Couldn’t he move forward, even just a foot. It would seem so much more polite. Self thinks: if Nicky Loomis were here, she would certainly make of this a story.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Work in Progress: Inspired by the Darren Aronofsky Movie

How many readers actually saw “Noah” when it was in theaters earlier this year? The speculative fiction film version of “Noah,” the one that starred Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connolly? Self loved it. In fact, it’s still one of her favorite movies of the year.

Self is calling this work-in-progress “The Ark.”:

Two by two, the counting went on, day and night.

In moonlight sometimes Noah heard his wife singing.

No more than two, Noah said. One pair, that’s all we can take.

His wife began to argue with him. There must be a way, she insisted. Her eyes had that stormy look. Like lake water in spring, when the wind blows hard around.

Right now, it stands at around five pages, double-spaced (1,000 words). Happiness!

Stay tuned.

Fray: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

December 2013

December 2013

Must confess self finds the theme of this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge a tad — shall we say — vague: FRAY.

She decided to think of the challenge as “fray” as in frayed material or frayed thread. Hence, the Christmas angel, whose skirt is made out of thin, frayed hemp.

Another from December 2013

Another from December 2013

Below is a detail of the Miami Holocaust Memorial in Miami’s South Beach, one of the most powerful holocaust memorials she’s ever seen. Self realizes it’s quite a contrast: Christmas decorations and concentration camps. But, this whole blog is about contrasts, isn’t it?

Miami Holocaust Memorial, South Beach, November 2013: Frayed Flesh

Miami Holocaust Memorial, South Beach, November 2013: Frayed Flesh

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

More Silhouettes

Grand Central Baking Company, Pioneer Park, Seattle:  February 2014

Grand Central Baking Company, Pioneer Square, Seattle: February 2014

Hand-blown glass, The Glass House near Pioneer Square, Seattle:  February 2014

Hand-blown glass, The Glass House near Pioneer Square, Seattle: February 2014

Neighbor's Front Yard, Redwood City, December 2013

Neighbor’s Front Yard, Redwood City, December 2013

 

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