Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

February 28, 2007

The last of the B&W's

Some of these scanned kind of crooked, despite my best efforts to get the lid shut before they slid!! Lamp post on Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, WA - 2000
Quinault, WA - 2005 (the cemetery itself was very small but very picturesque and peaceful)

The sign had been knocked askew, but I decided to frame it to make Boston look crooked. 1985.

Nantasket, Massachusetts - 1988. I call this one "Stairway to Heaven".

This was painted on an old, run down building in West Berkeley, CA - 1996.

An alley off O'Farrell Street, near Union Square, San Francisco, CA - 1992.

Napier Lane, San Francisco's only wooden street, located on the back side of Telegraph Hill - 1995.
In the wild Barbary Coast days of the late 1800's, stories are told of men being lured to the cottages on Napier Lane by ladies of the night and drugged. They'd wake up well out to sea on a ship headed for the Orient. Thus, the term "Shanghai'ed" was born. The tourists have no idea that this part of T-graph Hill exists.

BC Legislative Buildings, Victoria, BC - 2005.

I loved how the sun was hitting the side of her face, but I confess, I don't know who the statue is supposed to be. It's on the top of Parliament in Victoria. I have another photo of this same statue, but with a seagull on its head, so the statue is looking up at the bird, as if to say, "please don't crap on my head!" Unfortunately, I think that ship has sailed.

February 27, 2007

Cape Cod

Man, the processing of these black & whites are all over the map!! Anyway, here are some more black & whites out of my albums. I figured I'd scan some more in before I put the albums away. Springhill Beach, East Sandwich, Massachusetts - 2005
I'm not sure but I think this is the door at The Hoxie House in Sandwich - 1989.

The sun was just going down when I took this, so I had to shoot the reflection more than the trees & their reflection. This was taken on Old County Road in East Sandwich. My parents live about 3/4 of a mile from here, and I used to walk Old County Road all the time when I was a kid. I wouldn't feel safe doing it now, though.

An abandoned building in West Barnstable, MA - 1987

Another "quintessentially Cape Cod" photo of the salt marshes behind Springhill Beach, E. Sandwich - 2005. My parents used to have a beach cottage on Springhill and I have many happy memories of playing on the beach, then crossing the dirt road and playing in the salt marshes. My dad sold the cottage in 1977 so as to finance my college fund.

This photo doesn't look as washed out in my album. It's an "artsy fartsy" shot that I titled "The Blizzard of '87". My coworkers and I were snowed in at Channel 58 in Hyannis, in Feb. 1987. About 12-15 of us spent the night huddled in the cold, powerless TV station, but we had a blast. Someone thought to go to the "package store" earlier in the day before the storm picked up, and got beer. (For those of you not from Massachusetts, you can only buy beer, wine and liquor at a package store, and never on Sundays).
There was only one landline phone that worked, and it was in the pitch dark basement. We went down there to use the phone to try to find a hotel with vacancy, and which was close enough for us to walk to, without dying in the blizzard. At one point, whoever was holding the flashlight pointed it at the floor, and what I saw were 3 pairs of feet and a beer bottle that one of my friends had set on the floor. I thought it'd make a great photo, so in the spring, I dragged Peggy, Jack and Jeff outside to recreate it.

Eye Candy

With great thanks to Val for making her Photobucket collection available!!!

Love those 80's acid washed jeans.

Gotta love Vincent as a Seattle Seahawk!!

February 25, 2007

Seeing the World in Black & White

I love to shoot black & white, and when I travel, I always have 2 cameras - one loaded w/ colour film (or a digital camera) and one loaded with black & white film. I love to shoot interesting architecture (esp. churches and cathedrals), old buildings, attic windows, the play of light & shadow, and anything geometrically interesting, like fire escapes. I have 2 huge photo albums of just my b&w work, so choosing pics to post was kind of hard, but here's a taste of some stuff I've done over the years: The Hatch Shell, Charles River Esplanade, Boston, MA - 1985 (I was in college when I shot this)

An old building in Wiscasset, Maine - 1989

Fort Point, San Francisco, California - 1991

Looking straight up the TransAmerica Pyramid, San Francisco, California - 1992

Ferns, West Berkeley, California - 1996

Thea Foss Waterway Bridge, Tacoma, Washington - 2000

The Beach at Point-No-Point, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada - 2003

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada - 2004

February 22, 2007

San Francisco Open Your Golden Gate

The beautiful Golden Gate Bridge. I commuted over it for 4 years when I lived in Marin (to the North) and worked in San Francisco, and I never stopped noticing it. Here are some pictures I shot of the Bridge.

This first one was taken from the Marin Headlands. Our apartment was in the Richmond District, very close to the Bridge and the Ocean. We could clearly hear the fog horns at our place, and it always felt so comforting. We felt safe, wrapped in the shroud of fog, all snug in our apartment, with the various horns singing out - first the resonant one on the Bridge, then 2 short higher pitched blasts from the Marin side, and when there were extremely foggy conditions, a very loud, deep bass fog horn from Mile Rock (located one mile outside the Gate). We felt so isolated from the rest of the world, as if San Francisco was an island, especially in our quiet neighborhood. You could go out to the little store around the corner at night and see the fog blowing up Geary Boulevard in the street lights.

One lazy Sunday afternoon we heard the fog horns start up, and we jumped in the car and raced over the Bridge to the Marin Headlands and we weren't disappointed!! This is another semi-foggy day, and I shot this from Fort Point on the San Francisco side, under the Bridge.
Here's a black and white, also taken from Fort Point, of the Bridge structure.

Another black & white of the Bridge soaring above Fort Point.

And this one I posted in December, of sunrise on Christmas Day 1991 or 1992, taken from the Marin Headlands.

Did you know?
  • From 1775 to the 1840's, the straight was called "Boca del Puerto de San Francisco", or "Mouth of the Port of San Francisco.
  • After the 1840's, John Fremont wrote in his memoirs that he would name the straight "The Golden Gate". The grasses on the Headlands and hills of the Bay Area turn bright gold in the summer months, so looking east from the ocean at the straight, it truly looks like a golden gate, esp. when Fremont saw it prior to the various cities being built.
  • It's the second largest suspension bridge in the USA, after the Verrazano Narrows in NYC.
  • The Bridge was completed in 1937, and is the engineering miracle of brainchild Joseph Strauss.
  • Before there was a Bridge, the only way to get to Marin County and points north was to either take a ferry, or drive the long way around - south to San Jose, and then back north through the East Bay.
  • The Bridge is not "gold", but International Orange. This is a common misconception. It's the straight entering into SF Bay that is "The Golden Gate".
  • The fog forms because of the hot air rising off the land and the freezing cold waters of the ocean and SF Bay. That's why you can be standing in SF, looking across the Bay at Marin with blue sky all around, but a wall of fog between SF and Marin, with only the top points of the Bridge sticking up. You can watch the fog roll in, and then roll back out to sea. Sometimes you can be standing on the beach in bright sun and see the fog bank standing off shore, and then watch it barrel towards you in a matter of minutes.
  • It's seen more than it's share of suicides....over 1,200 by this time I believe. The Bridge District wants to put up a suicide barrier but the Bay Area revolts against the idea every time it's mentioned.
  • There's a moveable lane-barrier in the center, which allows for 4 lanes into San Francisco in the morning, and 4 lanes back north into Marin in the evening. The toll is now $5, going into SF only.
  • It's been closed 4 times since it opened due to high winds. One stormy day in early 1996, I found myself on the ferry back to Marin because the Bridge was closed and I couldn't take my bus!! The ferry ride was a fun alternative and I'd take it from time to time in nice weather. I'd just pick up the bus at the Larkspur Landing ferry terminal.
  • The speed limit of 45 mph and no lane changing are strictly enforced, to try to lessen the chance of deadly head-on collisions (something that happens frequently).
  • There is a crew of about 30 or so workers under the Bridge every day, performing maintenance, earthquake retrofitting and painting. The painting never ever stops because of the corrosive salt water and air. These brave men have been instrumental in saving people who try to jump to their deaths, often risking their own lives to grab them as they fall. Sometimes you see them climbing up the swooping cables to the top of the towers. I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to do that, even though you are roped to the guide cables.

February 20, 2007

Congratulations Brian!!

I just want to offer my sincere congratulations to my hubby on the bonus and raise he received today! He hasn't even been a Weyco a year yet!! I love you honey!!! Buy me somethin' pretty! lol The above is a picture of Weyco's corporate offices in Federal Way. Brian doesn't work in this building, but in one of the satelite buildings on the Weyco campus.

February 19, 2007

Wasted Days and Wasted Nights

Where did my energy go? You ask anyone and they will tell you that I used to be one of the most energetic people around. I used to do the Tae Bo tapes every morning before work. I used to clean the house religiously every Sunday. I used to crank out mass quantities of jewelry and crafts on the weekends. I used to do yardwork. I used to wash the dishes before going to bed. I used to have stamina.

I had all these plans for the long weekend. I got out of work at noon on Friday and I did errands and planned to come home and do some crafts. Instead I vegged on the couch all afternoon watching TV w/ Brian, who is still deathly ill. Saturday was absolutely gorgeous; about 62 and sunny. Everyone was outside doing chores and soaking up the sun. I managed to go to Puyallup and pick up a few things, then collapsed on the couch watching TV all day. I couldn't get warm, despite the weather and stayed under my blanket. Went to bed at 8 pm, woke up yesterday at 8 am. I figured cool, I had 12 hours of sleep, maybe I can actually get some stuff done today!

What did I do? Vegged on the couch all day under my blanket, then took a nap from 3:00 to 4:30. I tried to sit upright at my craft table but I was too bone weary. Brian slept all day too but he's sick. Last night I went to bed at 9:45, the lunch AND dinner dishes still piled in the sink. What is wrong with me? Why have I turned into such a slug?

The last time I spent every spare minute sleeping was the year my dad died, and I chalked it up to emotional and mental stress. Could the situation at my job over the past 6 months be catching up with me?

Anyways, just wanted to wish everyone a happy Mardi Gras!! Laisser le bon rouleau de temps!! And a happy Chinese New Year! Gung Hay Fat Choy! (or as Brian says, "Suck my fat toy").

February 16, 2007

Kissin' Cousins

Being from a rather large Italian family, I have about a million cousins. OK, maybe not a million, but a lot. The 2 with whom I am the closest are Sharon & Diane, as they are the only ones closest to me in age. Their grandfather and my grandmother are brother & sister. They lived first in Colorado, then Long Island, and spent every vacation on the Cape at their grandparents' house. My parents and I lived down the street from my Aunt & Uncle, so I basically grew up with Sha & Di. In 1977, they moved up to the Cape, to the next town over from me, so they went to a different high school, but we saw each other all the time.

This is Diane, me and Sharon, taken in about 1968 or 1969, sitting on the fireplace at my Aunt & Uncle's house. Di is 6 months younger than me, and Sha is 1 year older than me, so that'd make Di and I 4, and Sharon 5 or 6. They are truly the closest thing I ever had to real sisters. The poodle belonged to their grandparents. There is one detail about this photo that hasn't changed - both Sharon and Diane are wearing shoes, but I'm in my stocking feet, as usual. Some of my favourite memories of the 3 of us are taking turns singing Partridge Family songs on the picnic table in the summer, playing in the woods behind my parents' house in the fall and winter, building forts, swimming in their grandparents' pool, going to the beach, hanging out in the field at my parents', ice skating, riding bikes & skateboards, playing catch, walking on the railroad tracks, playing at the cranberry bog, sledding, holidays, birthdays, Christmases and sleepovers at each other's houses, getting up a "game", which was a Western-themed and ongoing game we'd play all summer long, with cap guns, cowboy hats, vests, etc....gosh, I could go on and on with fave memories of spending time with them!!! When we get together, we laugh, A LOT. I never really minded being at "the kids' table" on holidays because we would have so much fun laughing that the grownups would yell in for us to keep it down.

My mom had this really pretty fabric Christmas table cloth she used to put on our kitchen table. Diane and I would get to laughing, and one of us would end up spraying hot chocolate out of our mouth and nose, so she stopped using the table cloth. She grew so weary of washing it every couple of days.

When Sha got married in 1989, I was so incredibly honoured to be invited to spend the night before her wedding in her hotel room with her, Diane and another friend, Dotty. Oh did we have a ton of laughs that night too!

This picture was shot on Christmas Day 1988, as the companion photo for the first one. This was the last Christmas I spent with my family before moving here.

We shot another picture of the 3 of us sitting on the fireplace in 2003, but my dad had just died and I was wearing a ratty pair of shorts & tshirt, and just not looking my best at all, so I didn't post it. I miss them so much, but we keep in touch regularly!

Vincent's Apartment

I got a google alert today, as most of you VDO gals probably also received, that Vincent and Carin sold their apartment. Well, now that we know EXACTLY where he lives, he's moving. This was the accompanying text to the article that listed the above photos, therealestatestalker:

SELLER: Vincent D'OnofrioLOCATION: Christodora House, 143 Avenue B, NYCPRICE: $2,600,000 (combined sale price)SIZE: 1,905 square feet (combined), 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms (combined)DESCRIPTION: Incredible opportunity to create the most gorgeous 3 bedroom combination apartment with direct Park, City, and Empire State Building Views from 12 windows, at the celebrated Christodora House, an incredible Landmark Pre-war Condominium.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Back in the day, Your Mama would have eaten glass and/or tortured your children to live in the Christodora House. As it turns out, it was Your Mama's Doctor Cooter who had the pleasure of living up on the 9th floor of this building back in the late 1980s before the East Village became infested with bankers and nannies.One of the first doorman buildings in the East Village and fronting the once squalid and fruit-cake filled Tompkins Square Park, Christodora House has long been a relatively expensive and elegant oasis in a sea of drugs, pitt bulls, and homeless folks. Of course, the last few years have seen the East Village turn into the Upper West Side, but that's another sad, sad story.

The building, originally built as a settlement house for the poor and converted to luxury condominiums in 1986, has a long history of celebrity dwellers including the notorious Iggy Pop. Currently, there are loads of successful arty farty types who maintain residences here such as photoreaslism painter Richard Estes and photographer/model Sigrid Rothe, but it appears Mr. D'Onofrio was the last of the real deal celebrities living up in this building.

Surely all the children are familiar with Mr. D'onofrio's freakily intense character on that obscenely ubiquitous Law and Order Criminal Intent program. This damn program is playing on at least two channels ev-er-ee time Your Mama turns on the boob-tube. There are times, when our medications aren't quite correct, that Your Mama gets to believing all these Law and Order shows constitute a sick collaboration between the entertainment industry and the government. Are they trying to scare the bejeesus out of us with all those shows about sexually abusing mommies and psychotic serial killers living next door? Or are they trying to scare the Jesus into us?And to make matters worse, this program regularly films out front of Your Mama's building in New York. So we have got to be regularly living with their trailers, electric cables, hot lights and bossy production assistants who think because they are holding a clip board and have a walkie-talkie strapped to their head they own the street.

Hunnies, one day Your Mama is going to haul off and and smack one of these assholes when they tell us to "please go around," or instruct us as to where it's okay for our bitches Linda and Beverly to do their durty bizness.Anyhoo, Your Mama digresses. Public records show the famously five-o'clock shadowed Mister D'Onofrio and the unfortunately surnamed wifey Catherine van der Donk purchased the two fifth floor apartments at Christodora House in 1998. Some insiders say their intention was to combine the two apartments, but for one reason or another, this never happened.

The listing, presented by Citi-Habitats' Danny Davis, describes one apartment as a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom and the second as a 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom. However a quick look at the floor plan does not show a second bedroom or a second full bathroom in the larger apartment.We're not sure what the story is with that. However, as all the children can see with extreme envy in their hearts, the larger of the two apartments contains a baronial sized living room with the original paneling and massive fireplace. Mister Davis was somewhat miserly with the photographs so we're just going to have to use our imaginations when thinking about what this impressive room actually looks like.The listing agent suggests these apartments could easily be combined into a sprawling 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom apartment with 50 feet on the park. If any of our architect readers out there would like to give a crack at re-designing the layout of this apartment, Your Mama would be happy to post the winning design and then forward it on to the new owner.

The D'Onofrio apartments were being offered separately and together. The combined asking price was $2,395,000. According to Mister Max Abelson, they were both purchased by the same buyer for $2,600,000, which indicates to Your Mama there were multiple bids.

No word on where the D'Onofrios might be moving, but we do have a mutual friend in common who is also in the television bizness who recently sold off their East Village townhouse and moved West to Los Angeles. Perhaps their move marks the beginning of a westward trend. Although with Law and Order still filming at an alarming pace, we don't expect this couple to relocate to Los Angeles any time soon. But, perhaps they are considering life after Law and Order (if there is such a thing) and know something about that time frame we don't.

February 13, 2007

Be my Valentino....I mean Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day, esp. to all my V-Love Gals!!!

Could I be more relieved?

Bossman canceled his luncheon meeting today with that other law firm!!!!

Yesterday at lunch, in my typical, blunt Sagitarrian way, I blurted out, "So are you going to keep us in the dark about your little lunch meeting tomorrow or do I have to start looking for a new job?" He thought my question was hilarious. He said that he was just going to placate himself that he made the right decision in not wanting to move to another firm, to stop worrying, no need to start looking for a new job, etc. I was so relieved. Still though, the fact that he was still going bugged me, even though he said, "...and even if I did move, I need staff" so it sounds as though his plans did include me. But I am a creature of comfort and habit. I like my casual environment, I like the flexibility this job affords me, I don't want to start answering to a chain of command and be forced to wear business clothes/shoes (that I don't even own), be made to leave at 5:00 p.m. or be given a set amount of sick and vacation time.

This morning, I was at the copy machine and I hear him make a call and cancel the lunch date. He told the guy that it would be a waste of time, he'd already made up his mind that he doesn't want to leave. Of course my off-key rendition of "Thank you very much" was a bit obnoxious for 7:30 a.m., but I was absolutely thrilled that he canceled.


February 12, 2007


And that would be the sound of the other shoe dropping.

As most of you know, my job's been in a bit of flux since the fall, when one of my bosses was appointed as a Court Commissioner. Steve was all gung-ho to get someone in here to rent Robyn's office. However, with the holidays, he kept putting off his decision. I haven't inquired as to what his plans are because I prefer to play Cleopatra Queen of Denial. Steve's whole thing is that as long as we have enough money to operate for another month, then we are OK.

Well today, when he went to Court, my coworker told me that she overheard him making arrangements to have lunch with some people from a large firm in downtown Tacoma, since one of their partners retired and one of the lawyers there has been after Steve to talk to them. This lunch is taking place tomorrow. I, of course, went into weeping mode, and promptly called my doctor to have her increase the anti-depressants that I've been weaning off of for the past 2 weeks (and unsuccessfully too, I might add).

If he takes the job, chances are I will be left out in the cold because staff will be provided for him. I love this job and I do not want to have to leave. I love my boss, my work, the flexible schedule, casual dress code, etc. This job is not "just a paycheck" for me. I don't mind looking for work when it's on my terms, but when my hand is forced, I do not deal with it well. Of course if I'm laid off I can draw unemployment, and I would like to take a little bit of time off because I've been working steadily since I graduated from college nearly 21 years ago. The most time I've ever taken off was about a month when we moved to California and again when I lost a job in early 2001, shortly before I started here.

So think good thoughts for me because I really need them.

February 11, 2007

Victoria - Olde and New

I've been collecting old postcards of places I've lived and/or visited since Junior High, maybe even earlier. I always make it a point to check out the postcards at antique shows and shops. Last weekend, I went to the antique show in Puyallup and for the first time, I found old linen postcards of Victoria, British Columbia. I am absolutely in love with Victoria; I almost feel about it as I do San Francisco and in fact, the 2 cities are very similar, except in Victoria, it's got a much more British flair.

One of the city's best known places is the Empress Hotel. I was shocked to see this postcard because the Empress is about twice this size now. This particular postcard came from someone's personal collection because the author dated it "October 28, 1910". I shot this picture of the Empress Hotel in 2004. It wasn't until I saw the above postcard that I noticed the difference in the roof colour, showing the original old part. The Empress is an absolute wonder!!! They serve high tea each day at 4:00, although I've never been because I just don't travel with dressier clothes, and there is a dress code for high tea. I have walked through the Empress and it's gorgeous.

Here's an old postcard of the British Columbia Legislative Buildings, aka Parliament. Victoria is the capital of British Columbia. Here is the part that confuses people: Vancouver is on the mainland of BC, and a lot of people make the mistake thinking that Vancouver is the capital. Victoria is located on Vancouver Island, accessable by ferry from Washington State and mainland BC (and just to confuse people even more, there's also a Vancouver, Washington, which is in the southern part of the state, across the river from Portland, Oregon).
Judging from the cars parked along the street, I'd have to guess this postcard dates to the 1920's or early 1930's.
I can sit and look at both the Empress and Parliament all day. I can't stop shooting photos of them, even though I have tons. It's gotten to be a joke - before I leave for my annual trip to Victoria each year, Brian says, "And try not to come home with 20 rolls of pictures of the Empress and Parliament..."
I wish the sky was darker in this picture, but overall I was pretty pleased with the photos I shot of Parliament at night, considering I was standing as still as possible w/ the shutter open.

I can't tell what year this postcard could be from, but the Empress has already been expanded and there's ivy on the front. But Inner Harbour is still undeveloped. Now there's a bunch of boat slips and piers, and a waterfront walkway where artists and musicians set up in the summer.

Here's a great shot of undeveloped Inner Harbour and Parliament. The ferries still come into Inner Harbour where that large boat is, on the right.

This is Inner Harbour today. That building with the columns is a museum, and the hotels have built up around it.