Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Week in the Life: Hiccup Saturday

Now that I'm working again, weekends have more value.  And being a week before the show, I wanted just a little time to enjoy waking up without an alarm clock.  The mornings are when I get some quality time with my fuzzy kid.  Today I enjoyed some lazy time in bed snuggling with my Kodi Bears.
But eventually I got up and cooked breakfast.  Cooking when you're single isn't as fun but sometimes I like to treat myself.  And, now that I'm not cooking for my ex the only feedback I get is my own.  And I think I'm pretty damn good at whipping up a meal.
There are a few ladies that I've met this year that totally and completely understand me.  I was having a hard time digesting some negative energy from earlier this week and received this message.  And even though the things that I do are motivated by the things that I want to accomplish for me, I take some satisfaction in knowing that all those terrible, negative people in my past are being proven wrong.  The reality of it is that they didn't keep me down and tell me I was bad because they thought I was, it's because they needed to feel better about themselves.  If we could all just learn to pick each other up instead of tearing each other down we would have such a cohesive society.  But in the mean time I've learned to surround people with the same beliefs as me.
So after all that morning goodness I headed to SF to meet with the Flickr Howdy Stranger photowalk group.  That was a mouthful.  One of my favorite views is when you emerge from the Treasure Island tunnel and see the Bay Bridge in front of you.
And then you know you need the camera-from-where-I-stand photo.  Anyway I can't resist taking pictures of my Nikon Df.
And any time I'm shooting with Brian, I end up in a bar with a drink.
And then in a restaurant with another drink and maybe some food.  Brian had set up his camera in the restaurant and later was confronted by the manager who thought it was a video camera.  Brian was asked to take the camera down as the restaurant said they didn't allow photos in the restaurant.  We were curious if he was going to collect everyone's phone so they could stop taking pictures of their food.  Of course he didn't.  But ya know....
I feel bad when I'm working full time as Marli has to spend the day home alone.  Luckily my commute is way short and her time alone is minimal.  However when I go out on the weekends I also feel like a neglectful mom so I've decided we are going to start taking neighborhood walks on a regular basis.  It's been a good way to meet neighbors and to get some low key exercise.  I really love where I live and I want to be more engrained in it.  Plus Marli loves walkies.
However once we got home I was like "oh good, we walked, she'll be good".  But no.  I got the "I want something but can't talk to tell you what it is" glare from the back door.  It makes me so frustrated because she's being SO clear that she wants something, but I know she's got everything so I have no idea what that something is.  My spoiled Moos.  Anyway, this is a typical view at any point of time in the house.  Scrap stuff in the living room. Rawhides and bones.  New Ali Edwards kit on the couch and Marli wanting me to come play with her at the back door.
So later that evening I had stuff I had to do.  Collect my art from the Pancakes & Booze show.  But before that I started hearing pops and bangs so naturally I stepped outside.  And saw this....never a dull moment in East Oakland.
So then I prepped my stuff and Marli to go get my art from the show and as soon as I closed the door I knew I had done it....locked the keys in the house.  And of course, I don't have a spare hidden because, I live in East Oakland, lol.  I ended up having to take Uber to Walnut Creek where my spare key was and Uber back to open my door.  All with enough time then to get in my car with Moos and head to Pancakes and Booze at 111 Minna.
But we made it.  And while I tried to get a selfie with Marli on our way, as soon as I pulled out the camera phone she ducked behind the drivers seat.  This right here is a real smile, me laughing at her being so uncooperative.  LOL.
So there were a few hiccups in the day but all in all it was a great day full of friends, photo geeks like me, art, drives, fireworks, awkward confrontations, supportive words, down time...oh wait, like life happened.  

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Week in the Life: TGI Friday!

Holy Smokes, it's offing Friday.  As the show gets closer it gets hard to concentrate on anything besides it.  But being in my second week at the job and needing to be a responsible adult, I need to focus.  Not an easy thing for me and not with the distraction I got this morning (which I'll try to be very factual about).  So here goes...

I woke up like this.  I hate seeing people all done did with those stupid teeshirts on.  So when I woke up and saw my hair like this I knew it would be the quote in my WITL album, lol.  And of course, but first, let me take a selfie.
So I got ready for work.  Normal routine.  Then I get a text.  Hey Kristi, isn't Tricia your friend?  And I knew.  Oh gawd, what now.  And then this.....
 There are so many things to be said about this picture.  This photo was taken in 2013 and was an extremely hard day for me for many reasons.  It was close to the end of my relationship with Jennifer, Kari and Lora and also almost at the end of my relationship with Jarid.  A year later my relationship with Julia would also come to a close leading to separation with Tricia as well.  It is clear that everyone in this photo has an issue with me so why would you want to post it on your page?  What could your intent possibly be.  That question was answered by the comment left on the photo.  I'm not a perfect person.  I can shit talk just like the next person.  But never is my intent to ever make anyone feel bad about who they are.  You make choices, you deal with the consequences.  The difference is that I take responsibility for the things I say and do and I do not expect other people to take the blame for them.  However that is what has happened with many people in this photo.  But a year later I don't care.  I hope they are all just uninvolved in my life.  But when this comes to my attention I see ill will, hard feelings and bad intentions.  It set me back for a minute.  I decided to take it in.  Get in touch with myself and my feelings about it.  I had already decided to let all of this go and move on and after a bruised ego and hurt feelings, some talking it out with non-mutual friends, I let it go.  I remembered that I have moved in life.  I'm focused on my goals and accomplishments.  I'm almost 40 and this type of behavior just isn't worth it.  And then I received this meme from a friend:
And I laughed.  And remembered that it's important not to focus on the bad, but the good.  The people that help me be a better me.  People that love me unconditionally.  People that will make me laugh when I feel like shit.  People that make me feel safe.  That make me cry because they make me happy.  That will try to make me smile by cracking jokes when they know I'm stuck in sadness.  So I moved forward and got my materials ready for the Pancakes & Booze show.  These were the pieces I put on display.
And on my lunch I headed to San Francisco to turn them in.  Here again, my fascination with escalators.
I got stuck in BART.  I didn't have enough on my ticket to get out so of course, with limited time, I had to take a minute and add fundage....
Just out side the BART exit was this little flower stand.  They all looked especially pretty against the concrete and grime of the subway station.  I took a moment....
I grabbed some Mediterranean food and headed back to work.  I finished up my day then hopped back on BART meeting a friend for a drink and dinner and to get more flyers for Through the Lens.  I had to take a few pictures on the way.

 We met up at Thirsty Bear for drinks and some food.  Drinks were ok.
The chef, however, must have forgotten to put flavor, in anything, tonight.  The food was mediocre at best.  But as we ate we had a couple of people meet up with us and good times were to be had.  We all shared drinks and food, jokes, stories and laughter.  Then, decided to try a new bar.
We headed to a place called Novela.  The concept was cool as the bar had a "study" or library feel to it.  Sad to say, the bar was filled with douchebags.  However we did try a couple new drinks and got a random to take our photo.
After this I was headed to Pancakes & Booze but we weren't feeling it.  A couple of us parted ways.  I decided to go to P&B just to see what the scene was like and check on my pieces.  A couple of us chilled for a little bit, having our free pancakes then headed home.  All in all it was a pretty good night.  A lot of mending and healthy healing this week and a reminder to feel grateful for all the good things I have accomplished and the people in life that make me a better person.  Also a great reminder of why I have created boundaries and continue to try to lead a healthy life.

Week in the Life: Thursday

Talk about good intentions.  A for effort.  I tried.....I planned ahead by blogging my Week in the Life through Wednesday then fail.  So now I go back and try to remember the details.....So here goes.....

I had to go in early to work today since there would be contractors on site painting an office so at 6:29AM I snapped this photo.  I don't know why but I have a fascination with escalators.  The shiny metal.  The clean lines of the escalator highlighted with yellow so people can see one step from the next.  The germ infested handrail.  Ever think about how gross people are and how all that gross is embedded on that rail.  Yuck.

 There's a great view of the Oakland Arena from the BART station.  I love the grime of the Colliseum and all the concrete.  I hate palm trees.  I hope that when they tear down the Coliseum and upgrade the surrounding areas they get rid of those things and plant some more natural to the area trees.....
And of course I had to take the cliche chucks on an escalator shot.

 This photo I almost didn't take but I just couldn't resist the vanishing point and brick.  There's no moment to document other than it being a daily view and always something that captures my eye.
 After work Marli and I took a walk around the neighborhood.  I had every intention of taking pictures since I've decided I want to get more acquainted with Oakland.  I have so many pictures of San Francisco but I want to help myself understand the city I call home.  And I want to help to show others the beauty and character this city has to offer.  However once I started walking I ended up on the phone discussing details about Through the Lens.  Some catching up with my dad and then logistics.  When is he coming, when we have to be where and how the walls are all going to work.  I'm very grateful to have my dad back in my life.  He's been a positive influence in my life and been such a help with the show.
 After our walk Marli chilled on the couch.  As you can see, she really hates it.
While I had a single girl with no kids dinner.  It's rough, I know...Pear, Salami and Gouda.  I mean, I bet you'd hate this life....
 Post "dinner" lounging shenanigans with my mood.  And selfies.  For the sake of selfies.
 More of that lounging.  I need to get that stupid It's Tops photo off my wall. After the way they treated me I don't even want that garbage in my house.  In time.
And I couldn't take so many pictures of Marli without taking pics of my old man.  I was on the couch bored and my scarf happened to be there so uh, why not.  Kodi lets me do whatever as long as I'm paying attention to him so what's a little scarf action when it's a million degrees inside the house?  I love this old man.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Week in the Life: HUMP Day


This morning I woke up with my little cuddle bug.  AKA Kodi.  I sleep pretty hard throughout the night so I don't notice the movement of the kids in the middle of the night.  Sometimes I wake up with Kodi in my arms, sometimes he's at my side or nestled against my back.  Marli is in her bed though sometimes on the couch with me when I sleep on the couch.  Hey, the couch is ten times more comfortable than the cheap bed I got in the divorce.  Someday I'll get caught up and get myself a nice multi thousand dollar dream bed but for now, I alternate between couch and bed sleeps.
And up and at 'em today.  Pee, shower, dress, make up, hair, Marli, and head to BART.  Music and pondering.
One of the things I super loved about working at the Embarcadero earlier this year was the view.  Being in the city and walking around.  I didn't think I could get that from Oakland.  And then I started here.  And I love being able to compare the culture from Oakland to SF and the other places I've lived.  Oakland truly feels like home.  Like my people.  A place where you can be yourself and not feel judged.  I mean, not meanly anyway.  Where as in SF you need to be a certain way, look a certain way.  You need to come from a certain place and have a certain amount of established money.  I know you San Franciscans are saying NO, that's not true.  But as an outsider, trust that it is.  Oakland feels like my kind of misfitted, cozy people.  People who work for the things they have.  But still has this city vibe to it.  It's a little slower paced.  A little more room to breathe.  More people saying hello and smiling at one another while still trying to get from one place to the next.  AND, there is architecture that's photo worthy.  And we know that's most important to me.
I took the above photo while headed to Max's.  I had no idea that there was a Max's Opera Cafe in Oakland and I've lived here for three years.  But there it is.  Got myself a chicken avocado melt and fries and enjoyed it in our employee lounge.  Om nom nom.
So on the way to my appointment tonight I came across a couple of homeless people napping outside a building on Hegenburger.  The shop has been closed for a long time as have most of it's neighboring businesses.  I imagine a day where the mall cleans up and the shops across the street from it thrive.  But I think it's going to take some time and effort from the community.  And faith.  that's important.  So anyway I see this chick with red hair and chuckle to myself thinking it looks like my ex fiance's girlfriend.  And yea, the hater took over a little.  But I'll keep those comments private.
 So I continued on what I consider a pretty scenic drive.  I love the caldacott tunnel.  It's dirty, grimy, filled with texture and clean lines and light sources.  I always wish that I could be adventurous and actually walk in it to take some long exposures.  But knowing me I'd trip off the curb into oncoming traffic and die.  Ok maybe I wouldn't die but I'm pretty sure I'd get hurt....hahaha.  Well anyway today traffic was especially heavy so I was able to take a few shots inside the tunnel.  And coming out.

I noticed this week that I seem to be feeling the PicTapGo black and white filters.  So a lot of my pictures are conversions of color to black and white.  I like it that way.  I made some pretty good observations about some of the things I've been feeling lately.  How I've been feeling them and why.  I've embarked on a new photography project (long term) that will be exploring the places I've been and the people that I've known.  More of that to come at a later time.  I was pretty excited as I got to head home at 7 tonight.  I feel bad for poor Marli having to jump back into her old routine.  I'm used to spending the days with her and after day one of being back on a work routine I missed her tons.  I'm thankful for the shorter commute though, and being able to spend more time with her and less time on the road.
I struggled on the way home deciding if I should cook or not.  Eventually I caved in to temptation and  the easy way and detoured to Burger King.  Where I consumed 5 chicken nuggets and 10 french fries before feeling full and (gasp) feeding the rest to Marli.  Don't tell!  I worked a little on my Week in the Life album and watched five episodes of season five's Drop Dead Diva.  It's like my secret little guilty pleasure.
Tonight, I sleep in my bed.  Night guard and all.  What a difference that thing has made.....

Week in the Life: Tuesday

Oh, hello Tuesday.  Starting a new job (contract) and getting closer to the show I didn't think all that much about taking photos yesterday.  After having such a good day yesterday and having my faith renewed and feeling even more hopeful I guess I was more in photo documentation mode today.  Although I'm pretty much always in photo mode when I'm at the BART station.  Always so many lines, grit, dirt, and people.  Moving parts and clean lines.  Texture.  Watching the way people interact with people or watching the way they don't.  BART is always a great reflection time for me too.  It's where I'm forced to stop, sit and wait.  I have no control over the timing of the train and therefore I stop paying attention to time and just sit in the moment.  It's not something that comes easy to me.  So first photo is me riding up the escalator.  I had just missed the train I was aiming for so I slowed down knowing it would be another 15 minutes for the next one.  I get to BART.  I park.  I  get my stuff and walk to the entrance.  While I walk I fidget with my things.  Did I lock my car?  Do I have my phone?  Where's my BART ticket?  I really need to find my Clipper card.  I need music.  I pull out my iPod and put on my Beats by Dre earbuds.  (Best headphones I've ever had.)  I get to the entrance and put in my card and head toward this escalator and think, wow, this is my life.  I'm that urban girl who uses the subway to get to and from.  I always imagine this routine as something you see in the movies.

And then I get upstairs.  And have a seat.  I see this pigeon (the one on the left) with a full cracker...and I see his counterpart trying to get in on the action but very skeptical about it.  And I start to think about humanity in general.  The one bird has a big ol' cracker and definitely doesn't want to share with the other bird.  And the other bird wants it, badly, but won't be aggressive about it.  Sharing is caring bro.  However I will say that if someone grabs food off of my plate without asking it irritates the shit out of me.  Please just ask first.  Please?

So I look up, and this is my view.  Every day.  Well, it used to be up until May.  Then it was sporadically my view when I was headed to the city to shoot, meet friends, go to an event, go on a date, or whatever I might have been doing in the city.  This week it's the start to my new routine.  Back on a daily commute.  Back to a regular paycheck.  Back to daily socialization.  No more sleeping in and going to bed whenever I feel like it.  Back to responsibility.

Today for lunch I tried the Fountain Cafe and sat on a bench in the grass while I enjoyed my salad bar lunch.  Day two of this new routine.  AND I even made a decent decision on what I ate.

As I was leaving the office today I was reminded of my last place of employment.  The place that lured me away from Genentech with it's pretty wood floor and modern lobby.  With it's promise of something new and a beautiful view.  What a sham.  And then I realized that I am now in a place with lovely wood floored lobby and glass double doors.  Minus the sham.  So I knew I had to take this photo.  It just felt like a sign.
This afternoon was a busy one.  I had to head to UPS to pick up my delivery from Adoramapix and then head to an appointment by 6:30PM.  It was tight.  I made it to Adoramapix and picked up my three packages (10 framed photos) and headed to my appointment.  Made it just in time.  I was super anxious to open up my packages but alas, had to wait.  I spent some time working on my head and emotions and connecting with people like me and finally headed home.

 Once I got home I finally got to open my artwork.  I took a moment.  To see your images matted and framed and ready to go on a wall is such a magical feeling.  It's a tangible representation of everything you've captured.  For me it was also symbolic to the things I've accomplished and continue to accomplish this year.  It's Through the Lens, it's a vision, a dream turned reality.  And I just cannot wait to see how everything turns out.

By this time I was exhausted.  It's been two full days of work (#firstworldproblems) with tasks needing to happen afterwards.  So I cuddled up with Miss Marli on the couch and fell asleep to the sounds of the fan and the television.  Good night, sweet world.  See you tomorrow, sweet new life.