Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) # 16: Frida Kahlo-Themed

Still playing catch-up with the Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) co-hosted by Cee Neuner and Marsha Ingrao.

Such a fun challenge, self is so happy whenever she gets to post.

Happened to be at the local car-wash, and was amused by some Frida Kahlo items:

These Diego and Frida Christmas ornaments were in the SFMOMA Store:

And finally, further proof (if proof were needed) that Frida Kahlo’s influence is worldwide, these socks were on sale at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, UK:

Self’s personal favorite is the Frida Kahlo pillow.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) # 15: Window Displays, London

Catching up, slowly but surely, in the Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) co-hosted by Cee Neuner and Marsha Ingrao!

Display Windows: Harrod’s, Teatulia, Jenny Kate

Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) # 14: Christmas Decorations, London, December 2018

Still playing catch-up with the Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) co-hosted by Cee Neuner and Marsha Ingrao. From Marsha’s blog, Always Writes:

  • Public art encompasses any form of art you see in a public place, large or small, statues, murals, graffiti, gardens, parks, etc. The art should be visible from streets, sidewalks, or outdoor public places. Let your imagination and photographic eye show us diverse samples all over the world.

Self has been feeling quite nostalgic about London. She took these pictures December, 2018. Christmas decorations are public art, right?

She took the picture of gold paper chains through the front window of the London Review Bookshop, one of her favorite hangouts: It’s on Bury Place, off Great Russell Street in Bloomsbury.

The Weekend Roundup Photo Challenge: Letter “T”

Self is new to this Photo Challenge.

She thinks her post has to do three things:

(1) Show something starting with a “T.” See below: Trellis

Gamble House, Palo Alto

(2) Show a favorite that starts with a “T”: Christmas TREE.

(3) Show a Top of a Tree: Monterey Pines grow in Fowey, Cornwall, who would have thought??? The story goes that Fowey Hall used to belong to an old sea captain who traveled to California and brought Monterey pine seeds back with him.

Past Squares 22: London, December 2018

Self forgets. Memory is fallible. But photographs never lie.

She used to spend a lot of time in England and Ireland.

For Past Squares, her second post of the day: London, early December 2018.

The History of the Royal Gardens

Self is reading about all the wonderful improvements made to London’s public parks by Charles II, James II and William and Mary.

  • “Each royal generation tried to outdo the one before.” — England’s Magnificent Gardens, p. 26

Reading that sentence, self can’t help being reminded of the “improvements” inflicted by Melania on Jackie Kennedy’s beloved Rose Garden. It would seem she was driven, not by a wish to outdo her predecessors, but by a wish for VENDETTA!

Back to England’s Magnificent Gardens: The improvements made by the various monarchs did not come from “their own money. That came from the government of the day and, ultimately, from all the nation’s taxpayers.”

Darn it! WE the people probably supplied the funds for Melania’s hack job — with our tax dollars!? Didn’t Omarosa say in her book that Melania was not a victim, she was always in control? She knew how to get her point across. In fact, this Master of the Passive Aggressive didn’t just use gardens to make a statement, she also used fashion! Who can forget the green military style jacket (vaguely reminiscent of Fidel Castro’s garb) she wore to almost everything during The Former Guy’s last year in office? Or what about the blood-red Christmas trees that looked more like they belonged in Handmaid’s Tale or Halloween Kills?

Stephanie Grisham in her book corroborates Omarosa: yes, Stephanie says, the First Lady was very very passive aggressive. And SHE TOOK IT OUT ON CHRISTMAS. (Melania was probably thinking, I’m miserable as First Lady. I’m going to do the White House Christmas decorations in RED, like the inside of a bordello! Because I don’t like Christmas! Christmas is off the table! Christmas is nuts! I’m going to destroy Christmas!)

Self wonders where Melania learned how to be the Queen of Passive Aggressive. Was it something she picked up in Slovakia? Or later, when she was accompanying the Donald on his private jets? Or was it something she was born with?

When TFG had to entertain, she left him very much to his own devices, which is why he had to improvise with take-out from McDonald’s. Maybe they fought earlier, and this was her revenge.

Melania for the win!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Memories of Christmases Past

Self will surely finish A Promised Land today. She’s on p. 609 (only 100 more pages to go). It’s been by far the longest book she’s read this year:

The holiday season also meant we hosted parties practically every afternoon and evening for three and a half weeks straight. These were big, festive affairs, with three to four hundred guests at a time, laughing and chomping on lamb chops and crab cakes and drinking eggnog and wine while members of the United States Marine band, spiffy in their red coats, played all the holiday standards. For me and Michelle, the holiday parties were easy — we just dropped by for a few minutes to wish everyone well from behind a rope line.

A Promised Land, p. 609

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 128: And Here Comes the Holiday Season

  • I know many creative plans are being made to make these celebrations work – somehow and anyway. This last LAPC challenge, of the strange year 2020, is all about your Holiday Season. So what will your holidays look like? What are your plans and/or memories? Will you create new traditions or will you just ”survive” this one, looking forward to a ”normalized” celebrating next year? Leya

Self did not expect 2020. Neither did any of us. Right?

Nevertheless, today self was checking out viveka’s blog, my guilty pleasures, and she had the most stunning array of Christmas photos. Inspired, self came up with a few Christmas photos of her own.

Here’s a picture from the night of Dec. 15, when Amazon Prime dropped the first 3 episodes of Season 5 of The Expanse! So exciting! Each succeeding episode is on Wednesday, that means the next ‘drop’ is Wednesday, 23 December. And that is the nicest Christmas present she could have asked for.

She did buy a wreath from Trader Joe’s for $10.99, and fastened a few multi-colored Christmas balls to dress it up a little.

And she put out her lighted angel, that she puts out every year. And brought out a tin angel that was made in the Philippines.

So, very simple decorations this year. Not even half of her usual lay-out. Usually, she gets a big, fresh-cut fir, and hangs about 100 ornaments on it. And she scatters greenery on every available surface. Last year, her neighbor Wendy dropped by, and the first thing she said when she crossed the threshhold was: WOW.

But, Christmas is in her heart, even though this year was a very hard one.

Shout-out to Restless Jo for her great Christmas gallery, to don’t hold your breath’s Four Views of Panchgani, and to Bend Branches’s lovely Christmas ornaments.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Sense of Smell

Let’s nose around in our archives or sniff out new photos that are related to the sense of Smelling. Be creative and have fun.

Cee Neuner

Self found this Foto Challenge more than usually, er, challenging. She’s trying to keep her mind off food — for the first six weeks of the shelter-in-place, that was all she thought about, with disastrous consequences. And her roses don’t give off scent — mebbe it’s the type of soil? Even her Sheila’s Perfume rose has no perfume!

Anyhoo, after some determined hunting, she managed to come up with three photos:

  • Fried chorizo for breakfast in the island of Negros, central Philippines:

20190913_080713

  • A fresh-cut Christmas tree makes all the difference. Self got hers from Wegman’s, a local nursery:

20191130_152042

  • Just before shelter-in-place, self had her front door and front porch painted. The smell of fresh paint is the memory of singular happiness:

20200302_111031

Stay safe, dear blog readers.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 77: 2019 FAVORITES

Great theme!

In 2019, self traveled the world. Her life triangulated between home in Redwood City, California, to England and Ireland, to the Philippines. Side trip to Prague with her niece, Irene!

Here goes, all the images that mattered most to self in 2019, arranged from most recent — December 2019 — to the earliest, January 2019: Starting with her home in Redwood City in early December; to London’s Blackfriar station; to Manggapuri Villa in Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental, Philippines; to Prague; to Oxford University’s Exam School for Alice Oswald’s first reading as Oxford’s first woman Poet in Residence; to Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park; to the Main House of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig; to the fire pit in Manggapuri Villas; to the Daku Balay in Bacolod City, the Philippines; to self’s bedroom; to the Blue Room in Café Paradiso in Cork, Ireland; to Fowey in Cornwall; to Courthouse Square, Redwood City; to the cover of last winter’s issue of Prairie Schooner, which included her story Things She Can Take

Stay tuned.

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