As usual, I’m busier than a bee. But, I do want to post a picture of this week’s photo challenge. The word is “Inside.”
I know, I know…. It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve popped in to blog – I even missed the last two Weekly Photo Challenges…. Horrors! I plan to do those momentarily.
I’m having this battle with myself about taking time to blog. I feel guilty taking the time when I have so much work to do…. I’m working from home now – doing Instructional Design consulting. Yeap. I took the plunge to work for myself!
I’m working on a website and two business blogs right now – it’s a huge task. I have them all set to go as far as how they look and feel, but still developing the content, which is the major task.
I haven’t been following the Casey Anthony goings-on, but have heard that a movie, based on Jeff Ashton’s book, is in the works. Good for him! I’m glad he’s doing so well.
I heard through the grapevine that Jose Baez has a book out, or has one coming out – I’m not sure which it is. I’d venture to say few people will want to read it. What can Jose Baez say other than “I told ya’ so!” (Which no one in their right mind believed was possible at the time.)
It still floors me. We all thought, no way can such an inexperienced trial lawyer win that case! Hah! He did it. We all wore eggs on our face after that, big time.
I’m amazed that the Casey Anthony story continues to generate news! It’s so crazy! I get Google-Alerts on the topic of Casey Anthony and it never fails that EVERY day, somewhere – someone is talking about something related to that trial. It seems to be a foregone conclusion that little Miss Beautiful Life is going to have a perpetual OJ Simpson-like reputation for life.
Well, life goes on, doesn’t it? It doesn’t change much, but it goes on!
Here’s a little gift from me:
This weeks’ photo challenge word is “indulgence.”
How in the heck can I find a photo that epitomizes the word ‘indulge’ in my world? Hah! I constantly indulge in something, it seems.
Well, you might say that I indulge in most everything I do. In phases. There have to be phases because if one spent their days indulging in everything, it would be a bit much!
So, like the moon has its phases, so do my indulgences have phases.
I imagine we indulge in something because it gives us pleasure. (Chocolate, shopping, eating, desserts, hobbies and grandchildren are a few indulgences that spring to mind.)
Blogging is one indulgence that gives me pleasure. Although I spent last week away from my blog – which is very unusual for me – it was due to indulging in the pleasure of my new job!
Tomorrow will be the start of my second week at my new job. . I’m indulging in the pleasurable sense of security and freedom from stress that this new job has brought into my life…..
However, as for capturing an image of indulgence…. Well, I had to think about this one!
Friday I indulged myself and purchased a new bike. That indulgence is to cure, with exercise, another indulgence: Food!
I bought a pretty Schwinn 26″ bike that has 21 speeds…. Why do bikes have 21 speeds now? I don’t need to indulge in all those speeds But, all the bikes I looked at had 21 speeds!
On my first bike-ride I tried changing a speed and ended up locking the pedals for a few minutes…. I eventually figured out how to unlock them. Thankfully. I was a few blocks away from home and it looked like rain and I didn’t want to walk the bike all the way home.
Then, when I finally pedaled home and attempted to stop the bike – I fell off!
Yup! I fell off of my new bike – skinned and bruised my knee, and bruised my arm above the elbow because I fell partly on the pavement and partly on a parked car. (The bike is okay. The car is okay. I’m okay too.)
The reason I fell? After I’d fixed the gear issue, I decided to adjust the saddle, but I moved it too high for my height. It caused my feet to be nearly six inches above the ground. Then, when I got home and tried to get off the bike, I tried to leaned to the left and land on my left foot, but the saddle was too high to allow that, so BAM! Down I went with the bike on top of me! (My first thought was the hope that no one saw me…. no one did!)
So, as far as a photographic representation of indulgence…. I’ve decided to illustrate it using these 3 Flamingos. For hours I indulge my passion for making photography look like art… I do love to sit at the computer and play with the images I photograph.
Here are yesterday’s indulgences – I was working on flamingos.
Here’s my Flamingo On End:
This is my Soft Flamingo:
I’m a novice at it still. However, I can tell I’m getting better the more I work at it.
And, one reason photography is an indulgence for me is because the work (on the photos) constantly evolves… at least for me.
Next week, or next month, when I look at these 3 Flamingos again, chances are they will change. It’s all part of my indulgence in the learning process, and realizing there is evolution in it. And that’s a good thing!
Although this little fellow looks somewhat miffed at being in the rain, I am happily enjoying the fact that it’s raining (opportunities) for me…
There’s one really good opportunity, with a company and people I really like, there’s still Microsoft, too….. I’ll have an update soon.
In the meantime, Happy Friday everyone…. I’ll be back with a story soon!
I should be asleep, and dreaming – but I got caught up in colors! It’s fascinating how easy it is to manipulate colors on the computer. I’m engrossed with the experimentation of re-coloring.
Since the peacock is full of rich colors anyway, he makes a great canvas to play with.
This is a first draft of the peacock – I’m not totally satisfied with the clarity – not yet. And, speaking of clarity…..
My vision is improving. I am seeing the importance of passion – only just lately. Truly, it’s everything. Passion is everything. creating is everything. Creating wonderful work is everything.
passion is a pretty good guide. (Epiphany alert!!)
I used to think i was too passionate about work. But work has to be passionately wonderful. If it’s not, why do it at all? For money alone? No.
There’s a difference between “work” and work. In the past I thought personal success was measured by how much money I could make. And, in a sense it is, but it’s not integral, passion is first.
It’s about passion first, then money will come. It’s about creating and doing the work I love to do. That’s it. Well, it’s about time I figured that out!
Life is good.
The writer, Henry James wrote:
We work in the dark – we do what we can – we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.
Although spoken by one of Henry James’s characters, these words were also his personal credo. James truly feared his work would forever stay in the dark, forgotten.
After the release of a few of his novels, namely Portrait of a Lady (1881), he released many more short and full-length novels, but few were popular. He knew criticism more than he knew acceptance of his writing. Of course, after his death, in 1916, at age 72, he is now revered as the master he always was.
This Henry James quote reminds me of the theatre – working in the theatre. It’s all passion and madness and love, it is not always a normal life when one lives it. But, it is love and passion. And so is the brilliant musical I saw last night.
The show was chilling and lovely and scary and electric and I couldn’t speak when it ended.
Tears dripped on my blouse down to my lap, wetting my theatre program. I wasn’t the only one crying. Maybe I was the only one with out a tissue, though, but a kind woman gave me one of the cocktail napkins she held on to.
I don’t want to give away any part of the story – if you have a chance to see it, you’ll want to be surprised. It’s best to see it without any preconceptions. It will add to the magic for you, like it did for me.
I grew up in the theatre and love the magic and the passion and the madness and the love that is beyond words when a great play hits you in the gut.
There are a few musicals that will never leave me. I’ve seen many, but cling to a few; Next to Normal is one of those – probably the best among all the greats I’ve seen.
It’s like the musical Rent, edgy, amazing and now. It’s rock and roll and light opera and psychology and slice of life – all in one incredibly structured and fluid and dynamic powerful package.
Next to Normal, is playing for four weeks at the Miracle Theatre, in Coral Gables, Florida. (By the way, I was in the inaugural show, A Thousand Clowns, which opened the Miracle Theatre! picture below!)
Next to Normal is also touring across the Unites States. Catch it if you can – you’ll be so glad you dd.
There’s a reason why it won the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award in 2009.
I just published a book! Well, “Blurb” is doing all the work….I just supplied the photos!
<—- That’s the cover of the book. It’s a photography journal that I titled “Journal of Dreams.”
There are about twenty of my nature photos (birds, butterflies and flowers), throughout the 100 page journal.
It is very easy to create a book and it’s totally free! It’s really fun to create. If you want to make a book, go to the Blurb website: http://www.blurb.com
You have to download some of their software to create your book, which is really no big deal and they (Blurb) make the rest easy. And, there are many other types of books that you can create. I started out making a date book, but switched to a journal midstream, and it was easy!
Click below to flip through my book. The entire book is there. You can purchase a copy via the link and I think I make about $5.00 (I’m not sure), on sales. I need to look into how that works.
They say they print every book with high-quality paper and binding. I just ordered a copy as a gift to my Mom; so I’ll let you know how it turns out. From what I’ve read, they do a really good job and there are Blurb authors who are publishing and selling their own books like crazy!
I love the idea!
My book is below – Let me know what you think!
Hope you’re having a GREAT weekend!
There are things in this world, especially when it comes to technology, that wow me. One of those things is something called “Jailbreaking.” It’s something you do to an iPhone that removes the restrictions that Apple adds to the phone and allows you to download a bunch of Apps (applications) for free. It even allows you to download Apps that were created for the Android market.
When you jaibreak your iPhone you can do so many things that you couldn’t do with the Apple version. You can change wallpaper and the icons on your phone; you can video chat, watch live TV, play games that require Flash – like the Facebook games, and so much more.
And, when you jailbreak your iPhone, you also “unlock” it. Unlocking the iPhone means to remove restrictions that keep you with the original AT&T or Verizon carrier. You can take your phone to T-Mobile, or just about any carrier of your choice. That’s a huge benefit because AT&T is so expensive. I can attest to that.
It’s going to cost you about thirty bucks to jailbreak your iPhone, but it will pay off in the long run.
I found out about all this unlocking and jailbreaking is due to signing up as a Consultant with a global outsourcing company called oDesk. I applied through oDesk for a job as a writer for a company that writes about this technology.
Let me tell you a little bit how oDesk works.
The oDesk folks provide the website and a listing of jobs that come from employers all over the world. The employer posts jobs and identify the skills required to do the job(s) they want filled, usually on a temporary basis, though some are long-term. The oDesk system matches the potential employees skill-sets with the skills the employer indicates he or she needs. If a job looks like a fit, the employee can apply to the job, and then wait to see if the employer wants to interview the prospective employee.
So, I applied yesterday to an employer who needs a writer. To my surprise, I got contacted by the employer who asked me to submit work specific writing samples. I had to write two articles about jailbreaking and unlocking the iPhone.
He sent me the keywords and I had to strategically place the keywords in the content. The better the keywords, the better Google recognizes what the article is about and the higher they rank the article, thus driving business.
But, I thought, huh? What kind of scam is this?! Jail breaking???
But, I said okay, I’m open to anything.
So, I did some research, and wrote the articles today. But, I haven’t heard anything. I don’t know if my articles were good, really. I enjoy technical stuff, but it’s pretty boring to write about. So, I wrote one of my articles in a kind of a “dude-ish” slang, and the other article I wrote with lines borrowed from Shakespeare! In hindsight, I they may have been too creative. Oh well.
Well, I had no idea what the employer really wanted other than to use the words “jailbreak” and ‘unlock” in my articles.
So, I made them interesting!
I’m working really hard at finding a job. The thing about not working but looking for work, it’s a lot of very hard work! I’ve been working since the wee hours this morning and I’m still at it!
Well, I’m getting calls and responses. And I do have real irons on the fire. It’s all about patience. Finding and securing a new job is a long process and a juggling act, too. You have to keep a lot of balls up in the air hoping the best one will drop first. Nothing worse than saying yes to Acme Computer Company and then have Microsoft call! (I did apply to Microsoft, by the way….I can only hope to be considered….!)
So, it’s a busy time for me. But a good time, too. I’m in a good place with a lot of opportunities… the only thing I need now is patience. Not always my virtue.
I want to do the Post-A-Day Challenge for 2012, like I did in 2011, but I have decided it’s too much. Although blogging everyday has become a habit, it will be nice to take a night off now and then. So, that’s the plan! No pressure this year.
On a totally different note, here’s a present for your eyes! I took this yesterday while I was walking my dog. It was a beautiful day – birds, bees and butterflies were everywhere!
This week’s challenge is about finding a photo, or photos, that say launch.
Last year, early one morning, there were three lovely Herons on the bank of the canal, in my backyard. I tiptoed out, camera in hand, to see if I could capture them as they enjoyed the quiet morning, side by side.
I managed to capture this first photo without their knowing it, but it took only moments for them to know I was there:
And there he goes:
Now that number one is gone, number two is getting out of Dodge, and number three is right on his heels, or rather wings, getting ready for take off:
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Launch (dailypost.wordpress.com)
Well, we made it! It’s officially 2012. Unbelievable, isn’t it?
I’m looking forward to this brand new year. I don’t know what’s coming, but it’s going to be good. It’s going to be a great year!
There are some things I don’t like about a new year. I don’t enjoy doing taxes, not even when I get money back. I just don’t like doing it! And the holiday bills. The indulgences and over-spending always comes back to haunt me and I end up hating life for a couple of days. And, the resolution I hope to keep but never do….. The D. I. E. T. Oy. It’s the one resolution we all make, I suppose. I always make it, then break it, then make it again the first time I put on a pair of jeans that should fit but don’t and are so tight they barely move past my knees. This year, as every year, I gained cookie, cake and brownie pounds because my face went into every party plate which was more like a cow-trough than anything.
That was then, this is now, one more year to get the diet dilemma right!
Anyway, the first day of 2012 went by so fast! 2012 will probably go by just as fast as 2011 did, if we’re lucky, I guess. The older I get the faster times flies. Growing older makes time go faster and end shorter in equal measure. Well, that’s life, isn’t it?
I sure hope everyone is enjoying this holiday weekend! Here’s a little gift from me. I’m enclosing a few of my mixed-media experiments that I hope will bring you cheer! If you’d care to give me feedback on these images – good or bad – I would appreciate it so much.
Mixed Media Creations:
This first one is a photograph that I added a little shimmer to:
This second one is a lovely gazebo that I’ve changed to look like a painting using dots of paint, kind of like the style of the artist Georges Seurat.
This is a photo I took on a river in Winter Park, Florida. At the end of the river bend, a white boat house waits:
Here’s another version of the gazebo I’ve made to appear blue:
Another version of the gazebo – I wanted to make it feel as if it shimmered:
I played with the colors of a Hummingbird. This is the same photo I posted earlier this week for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge:
:nd finally, here is a photo of birds sitting in a cypress tree in the middle of the river. I guess I’m into the color blue today because I washed this image in blue:
I would really love your feedback on these photos – good or BAD feedback is welcomed and appreciated!
I’ve uploaded all these images here: http://andrea-oconnell.artistwebsites.com/
And this day, like so many other December 25’s in Florida, is HOT!
Merry Christmas to those who observe it, and best wishes for a happy 6th (I think) day of Chanukah, too.
It’s a very quiet morning. Relaxing. Nice.
Well, Jazz is having a bad morning. My brother’s dog, the gigantic puppy, Buster, as usual, relentlessly pursues Jazz, egging him on with a push of his paw and a little nip on the rear end. When that doesn’t move Jazz, Buster jumps in the air in a “U” shape – his four legs straight up from the ground – go up and over Jazz, only to land and have his legs nipped at by Jazz’s jaws…. snapping, snapping, snapping… Buster is too fast and Jazz’s snapping isn’t precisely aimed but sometimes he manages to get a hold of some part of Buster’s skin. Jazz’s snapping jaws, though they aim at Buster in rapid-fire snaps like a machine gun gone ballistic, don’t do any harm to him though.
It’s hilarious to see them. I can’t decide if Jazz is playing or if he’s petrified because his tail wags but his eyes roll back in his head and his lips stay permanently in place, over his gums. Buster is absolutely playing, that’s clear…. The verdict is still out on Jazz’s level of enjoyment.
This morning the grass was dewy and Jazz refused to step out on the big-grass-john in the backyard. So I picked him up and walked him out further in the grass, getting my fuzzy slippers nice and wet – I put him down on the grass, but he immediately tip-toed away, gingerly in the grass like a ballet dancer with a broken toe, back to the patio and dry ground. He tiptoed, broken-toed style, through the screen door and to the pool area where he proceeded to do you know what right by the pool.
The morning is quiet. Mom and my brother are reading the paper – the New York Times. And a John Wayne movie is on the TV, in the background.
Last night we watched the Oldie Goldie movie “Margie.” It was shot in 1946, and shows a grown-up Margie reminiscing about her high school years in the 1920’s, to her teen-aged daughter.
The setting was 1928 and a young Margie, a senior in high school, keeps losing her “bloomers” to great dramatic effect. Seriously, the elastic in her bloomers broke three times in the movie! It wasn’t really a theme – ha! Or any sub-plot, per se, but each loss of one of her errant bloomers did push the plot ahead. One especially “dramatic” bloomer loosening happened on the ice-skating rink. To cover the embarrassment of losing her bloomers, Margie feigns fainting.
Oh Fiddlesticks! was Margie’s refrain when things were confusing or got out of hand – or when one’s bloomers were unruly.
Of course today it would be, “Oh, isn’t this a farting-fuck! Shit, I lost my thong,” purposely getting as many swear words into the sentence as possible then publicly pronouncing and publishing the event all over Facebook. Whereas Margie, humiliated, horrified, is overcome with tears at her bloomer bust.
Anyway, the movie was very sweet. Haddie McDaniel played the housekeeper. Jeanne Crain, was Margie. Haddie McDaniel, you may remember, won the Academy Award for her performance as “Mammy” in Gone with the Wind.
I’m not sure what is in store for the rest of the day. I know the dog-park is on our agenda and my brother is cooking us a nice lunch….kind of scary, to be honest. He’ll probably need an editor. Well mom is here – thankfully, I’m hardly a cook and proud of it!
Anyway, that’s a piece of my 2011 Christmas. I’d like to share the funniest story, written by my niece, about her plane trip from New York to Tallahassee. It’s so damn funny – brilliant humor, and I am not being prejudiced, you’ll see:
So I’m on this flight from NYC to Charlotte today, it’s super-delayed on the tarmac and I’m sitting next to two people about my age who did not know each other but talked so loud that I shared that ugh i know ARE THEY EVEN HUMAN? look about them with two separate people. I would give some examples of their conversation but it would be too painful for me to revisit. Okay wait I can’t help but remember: the girl kept joking about us being in the exit row and DYING and when there was turbulence she was like, “Am I going to have to pull this lever?” (to open the door!) and I had just read that fucking, fucking article about the french guys crashing the plane in the Atlantic and it was all I could think about (this plane crashing) meanwhile this unstable woman with a extra large coolatta was making jokes about pulling open the goddamn emergency exit.
Anyway so halfway through I really have to pee and I’m telling myself stuff like, “Okay, as soon as you finish this chapter, you can pee.” (along with musing about how I’d react if I found out the plane was going down) Then I realized I could pee when I wanted because I am an adult human so I put my book away and started sheepishly assessing the situation. See, the seatbelt light was on but I always forget if that means Don’t move around or, Fine move around but if you’re sitting down, put on your seatbelt. I figured it was the latter because that’s what I wanted so I found a way to justify it. Then I looked right and left. No one was up and about to reassure me I wouldn’t get “in trouble.” I craned my neck to see what the fight attendi were doing. They buckled in in the back, but I decided to LIVE ON THE EDGE and then to go to the bathroom in the front since it was closer and there was some turbulence but fuck it right? I’m an adult.
So I got up half-expecting to get yelled at (as always) but creeped on forward in my newish boots and then stopped and stood frozen under the glowing green bathroom sign when I couldn’t find the fucking door to push in and crawl inside. Ahhh. I felt the eyes of every human on the plane on me while I squinted into dark corners and wondered if I was about to walk into the cockpit . but was like whatever guys, I can do this. Then a flight attendant from the back GRABS THE MIC and says in a fluster, JUST A REMINDER THAT THE FIRST CLASS LAVATORIES ARE RESERVED FOR FIRST CLASS PASSENGERS ONLY.
Cut to me wandering around first class like a lost puppy. This lady is basically telling me, from the back of the plane, over the loudspeaker to get the fuck out of the first class section. WHAT? So I SPIN around on my heels (rather amazingly I might add) to face THE ENTIRE PLANE, shrug dramatically and say SORRY EVERYONE! in the most teenage, sarcastic tone of voice. I don’t even know where this audacity came from. But I saw this sea of faces staring at me and rolling their eyes at the situation and laughing with me and literally like, making little comments of solidarity as I walked past. Like I just committed this brave act, crossing enemy lines to pee into a little toilet vacuum. I mean people were truly making eye contact and saying like, “Come ON!” and, “Oh like they are all just LINED UP up there waiting to get into the bathroom!” And I just nodded and shrugged and wanted to like, high five everyone as I cruised by, but instead made some kind of bad kid in the back of the class type of dramatic exhalations then sauntered, victoriously, all the way to the back of the godforsaken plane, where the flight attendants would not look at me, and peed in my proletariat toilet (proletoilet).
Anyway there was total class warfare going on in the sky somewhere over, I dunno, Virginia, today and it was amazing.
Link to above: http://meaghano.com/post/14595368874/impt
I am looking at things in different ways. different angles. necks don’t always stick out but they should, sometimes. maybe. for others. yes. and then again. no. but usually. yes. sticking my neck out. wondering. in shades like salmon. feathered. weathered. but fine. so happy.
See more here: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/andrea-oconnell.html
Where it ends, it begins!
(Photo taken at Flamingo Gardens, by Andrea O’Connell, all rights reserved.)
I have a total of 64 more Creative Whacks to post. At this rate, it will be 2064 until I finish!
So, here’s another one. It’s a good one, too.
Creative Whack number 9 is: drop an assumption.
My assumptions drive me crazy and usually involve me second-guessing myself. It has a lot to do with self-confidence. I don’t have issues with those big assumptions that result in generalizations. Fortunately I am open-minded enough to not allow that to happen.
I make stupid assumptions that have to do (usually) with relationships. When I was younger it was a big struggle. I had this inner dialog going on that was a marathon of back and forth quarreling with myself. It would go something like this:
Positive realization: I haven’t talked to John in so long. I should call him.
Negative assumption: Well, he hasn’t called me. What if he’s too busy to talk to me? Or maybe he really would rather not talk to me? I’d be embarrassed if I disturbed him. Maybe he’d think I’m needy? Or, maybe he has a girlfriend he didn’t tell me about and maybe he thinks I’m trying to come-on to him? That would really be embarrassing.
Positive realization: No no no no no Andrea! That’s crazy.
Negative assumption: We had a nice date, but what if he doesn’t think of me as a possible girlfriend? He’s a great guy, too. He wouldn’t be interested in me. And, who knows if I’m really interested in him? Was he being himself on our date? Was he being distant? What if we get serious? I couldn’t take it if he dropped me. Maybe he’s trying to tell me something by his silence and not calling? Should I wait until he calls me?
Positive realization: Oh God, you dumb-ass, Andrea! Call him! Give him a call – if he’s busy he’ll tell you he is and then you can decide on a time to get together, or a time to talk on the phone!
Negative assumption: It would be easier to leave him a voice mail. Shit! I wish I could just text him, that’s so much easier than talking in situations like this! Maybe I could call him, and if he answers I could pretend that I dialed him by mistake – tell him I was really calling Jane and got his number mixed up, but it’s nice to talk to him! And, if he doesn’t answer, I could leave a message…..
And on and on and on… I would go back and forth.
I still quarrel with myself, but not nearly as badly as I used to. Thankfully.
Assumptions are terribly limiting. The best thing we can do is test the validity of every assumption we make. I try to.
Would the photo below qualify as an assumption?
Maybe. Maybe not. I think it’s close enough.
Just a reminder that the brilliant Creative Whack cards are by Roger von Oech. The Creative Whack Pack is a 64 card deck of inspirational ways to encourage creative thinking.
All the day long,
Whether rain or shine
She’s part of the assembly line.
She’s making history,
Working for victory
Rosie the Riveter
~ Lyrics by Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb,. 1942.
It’s hardly like working in war-time. It’s not like in the Rosie the Riveter campaigns in which women stepped up and did a man’s job during World War II, supporting the war effort.
It’s not that at all!
Writing every day cannot remotely compare to the sacrifices women made at home when men were away fighting World War II. And, of course now women are (or should be) considered equal contributors in the US Armed Services.
I’m thinking of Rosie because for me it describes my resolve to write one post every single day during the WordPress post-a-day challenge.
There is one more month left in the challenge. (In reality, December will be my 13th month since I began posting every day in December 2010.)
When the year is over, I’ll not be doing this again…. unless I can help it.
I think I’ll count all the words I’ve written thus far. (I won’t count, WordPress will do it for me!) because it will make me feel like I’ve really accomplished something.
Let’s see. To date, I have written a total of 581 posts. I generally write a minimum of 500 words on average. So, if my math is correct, that’s nearly 3 million words….?
That’s why I thought of Rosie!! 🙂
And, that’s why I’m thinking I may need a day off from blogging soon – well, after the new year, maybe.