Monday, July 31, 2006

Moving On...

I'm exhausted! I've been in the process of moving for the last month, but the last few days were crunch time and it's really worn me out. I'm still not done! I have to go finish cleaning and turn in my keys and such tomorrow (well, later today really). For now, I just wanted to post some of the sunset pictures I took last Wednesday.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tag I'm It!

I was tagged by Stacy to answer these questions, so here you have it!:)

1) When did you start blogging and why?

I started blogging in January of 2006. I had been reading blogs for a little while and decided that I'd like to start keeping an online journal of sorts. I thought it would be a good way to look back at my life. I didn't think anyone would read it, so I didn't even tell anyone about it at first. And after a while, I decided to post some of my photos as well.

2) What don't you talk about?

Well, I'm a pretty open person, so I will talk about most things. I tend to avoid confrontation (it's just my personality), so I tend not to talk about things that are too controversial like politics, religion and such. I *do* have opinions but I tend to keep them to myself:) That's the case both on and off line.

3) Are you and your blogging persona the same person?

Yep! I feel like I'm much more myself online than I am in least when you first meet me anyway:)

4) How do you use blogging to build friendships?

I don't necessarily use it specifically to build friendships, but I've discovered some great blogs and great people through my journeys through blogland.

5) How would you describe your writing style?

Um, random LOL! I ramble on about all sorts of stuff. And pretty informal. Though I do tend to ramble on for ages, I actually don't really enjoy writing that much. I have to be in the right mood to do it.

I'm not going to tag anyone at this point since I'm not sure if there is anyone out there reading this who hasn't already been tagged!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Hot & Stormy Sunsets

I was walking out the door last night to go to dinner with the 'rents when I noticed the amazing sun setting over the roof of the neighbor's house. So of course I ran back inside and grabbed my camera! My parents patiently waited in the air-conditioned car for me to take my bazillion photos:) They don't quite capture the sun the way it was in person. Oh well.

I'm also posting some photos of the sunset that I caught while driving around Friday night in Claremont. I'm so glad I had decided *not* to go to the movies that night!

Claremont Sunset photos below (the focus may be a bit off in a couple of them)...

Stormy Weather

The weather has been big news all over lately it seems. It's been much hotter than usual. We've had power elerts and emergencies; all without Enron's help this time! Anyway, we've also had thunderstorms around as well which have made for some interesting cloud formations and sunsets.

Here are some of the cloudy skies from both Claremont & Bonita.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Childhood Memories

Some of you may know that I’m moving back to my hometown (and back in with my parents temporarily) to teach. I’ve actually been living in two places for the last two months since I started observing a class where I’ll be teaching. Being back on a more permanent basis has brought back all sorts of memories. I actually was going to blog about it a while ago, but I got busy and didn’t get a chance.

Things have really changed in the areas surrounding my hometown. Where there used to be a hill where cows grazed on the grass, there is now a sea of houses. They are even putting in a new freeway! It’s kind of sad to drive around and see some of the changes.

At the same time, some of the things I loved growing up are still here. I’ve wanted to take pictures of things around my hometown for a while, and the other day I finally decided to do it! It’s been on my mind more lately since I saw a post at Heather’s Blog that reminded me of my grandparents and Lucy Monroe asked about childhood memories at her blog .

Of course there are some things (like the Christmas Tree Farm) that I think are better to photo during a different time of the year and some I just haven’t gotten to yet. I’ve actually been thinking of starting a Daily Photo Blog, but as I’m not sure how long I’ll be living in the area, I’m not sure.

Anyway, I’ve posted some photos below along with some of my memories. I hope you enjoy!


I love the horse trails that go throughout the housing development. In fact, the entire development is horse-centric; all the street names are related to horses in some way. We used to hike all over the place without even going too far from home. In fact, the trails actually run right behind the homes. And people *do* actually ride horses along them. They even have horse-crossing signs to warn cars that there may be people on horseback crossing the street.

Here is the view from one trail that is literally just up the street from our house.

My bus stop for kindergarten was just across the street at the other side of the trail. The family that lives in the house next to the trail had a horse that I used to visit. In fact, I once got in trouble for going to visit the horse instead of going home after getting off the bus!

I took a few pictures looking down the trail as well as toward the street. I violated my parents’ #1 rule, though, so shhhhhh! The rule? Always wear long pants, socks, and sneakers when on the trails in case of snakes…eeek! I was wearing cropped pants and flip-flops since I hadn’t actually planned to walk down near the trails.

We used to hike up that hill you can see in the distance in the middle shot. Back then there were no homes at the top. In fact, a few times, those hills caught on fire!

Here are a couple of other photos from a street that has seen increased traffic because of the new freeway and a nearby hiking trail park.

The increased traffic has resulted in quite a few changes. They took out a two-lane bridge near the Christmas Tree Farm and made it wider. I wish I had before and after shots!

They also took out local convenience store and replaced it with a 7-11. It’s progress, but not quite the same Bonita as it was when I was growing up. Seeing all the changes makes me quite nostalgic…

Saturday, July 22, 2006

What a Week!

It's been a crazy week. I've taken some photos, but haven't even had a chance to upload them all! I'm working on a long blog that I hope to post later tonight, but for now, here are some pictures of Ron and Sophie from this week.

We've nicknamed Sophie "Sneaky" since she can disappear from view before you know it. She also hates to be followed, especially with the camera. It is close to impossible to get photos of her unless she's sleeping. Even then, if she's not completely asleep, she'll turn to me and give me this look like she's saying, "I'm trying to sleep here! Do you mind?" LOL! Sometimes I think she's like people in some cultures who don't want their photos taken because they feel like the camera captures part of their soul with each photo!

I love getting shots of her on our carpet because it matches her eyes, but with the natural light being non-existant in the house (and with her resistance) it's pretty hard. I did my best with these.

Ron has been keeping cool by hanging out on the pool heater (which is a bit rundown). I know that doesn't seem to make sense, but the metal stays cool and it's in the shade.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Route 66 'Tribute' Progress & Some Photos

I've been going through my photos of the Route 66 photos I have and it's been quite interesting. I've learned that taking photos at night is still something I need to play around with and that I probably should invest in a tripod soon. I find myself wishing I had one multiple times in a week.

Not that during the day was much better. It's been so bright lately, not to mention smoky thanks to the wildfires, so the sky is a bit blah in the daytime shots. If I wasn't moving soon, I'd wait for that "perfect" day to get the shots. Oh well. The 'project' is coming along, though.

I got some other shots while out and about this weekend. Nothing all that fantastic, but I thought I'd share anyway:)


I found these flowers while waiting for cars to leave so I could get a shot of an interesting gas pump...

When we arrived in San Diego, it was really odd. The fog was starting to roll in and it was much cooler than the 106 degrees it had been at my apartment! Here are some shots taken from the driveway up the street and of the sky...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Update: Photos On Private Property

Ok, I really should be in bed. I'm supposed to be up in 5 hours:/ Anyway, I got up some courage to take more photos tonight after going to get take out from one of the places with a cool sign. They were so nice:) So I ventured to some other places as well.

I also found a USA Today article that somewhat eased my mind. The basic idea from the article is this:

"You can take photos any place that's open to the public, whether or not it's private property."

So, whew. I didn't do anything wrong. There's actually quite a bit of leeway you have as a photographer. If you'd like to read the entire article, click here.

Thanks for bearing with me on my earlier venting. I plan to resume the project, but since I won't be around here much it may take me a little while to get all the pictures I want:)

Friday, July 14, 2006


No, I'm not "argh"-ing about Pirates. I'm just plain old frustrated. I had an idea about a blog topic, but I've been put off it for now. If you ever decide you want to zap me of all creative juices, all you need to do is yell at me. It's that simple.

Maybe I should start at the beginning with the idea I had for the blog. I've gotten a bit nostalgic lately, now that I'm moving. Since I won't be here much longer, I am paying more attention to my surroundings as I drive around town. That combined with visiting Daily Photo blogs and seeing the movie Cars inspired me to do sort of a photo around town blog. How do they all fit together? I live right off of Route 66 here in California and many of the businesses use that fact in their signage and there are "Historic Route 66" signs along the road.

So I thought it would be fun to take some photos of the signs as a kind of tribute to Route 66 and preserve my memories of the time I lived here. I was really excited until I stopped at a gas station to get some water (it is really hot here today) and take a photo of the neat sign.

Evidently one of the guys who works at the gas station didn't want me to take photos of the sign. He got really adamant about it so I told him I wouldn't take any photos. He couldn't leave it at that though. He felt he had to lecture me. He went on about would I like it if he tried to photograph my home and such. I couldn't care less as long as you aren't trying to get naked shots of me inside it! I suppose I should have asked permission. I honestly didn't think about it. I figured if it was a sign on the street, who would care if I took a picture of it? Obviously, I was wrong.

It was the way he went about it that really got to me. I felt like I was a member of the paparazi after Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie or something, sheesh! Even though he really got me riled up (inside more so than I showed externally), I tried to remain polite and apologized and such. After he grilled me on why I was taking the photo (I told him it was for my personal enjoyment and because I was moving), he told me to go ahead and take the photos.

At that point, I just wanted to get out of there, but I took a couple of photos. UGH! And then it totally killed the mood for the rest of the sign pictures I wanted to take. Should I try to find someone to ask at each place? Some of them are strip mall signs. Who do I ask about those? Plus, I really don't have time to hunt someone down just to ask if I can take a few photos:/

Maybe this is why I prefer to take photos of flowers and sunsets. At least they won't come chasing after me yelling at me for taking their photos. I should hope not, anyway. Oh, I just had a premonition of my dreams tonight: being chased by life-sized flowers and a big glowing sun, what fun!

And now I can't stop thinking about the incident. It's making me nuts. It's one of those times I really wish my brain had an off switch. I decided blogging about it might help me to let it go, so here I am!

I alternate between thinking I should have asked permission and being annoyed he made a big deal about it. I could have taken the picture from across the way and he'd never have known. I just wanted a better shot. I also wonder how he thought making such a big deal about it could be a good thing. He definitely didn't make me want to ever get gas there again! I suppose maybe he thought I was some reporter doing a story on gas prices? Or that I was doing some expose? I don't know. It did make me decide to look up stuff about legality of taking photos for private use.

I also wonder why I didn't just walk away when he got all huffy. It's probably the same reason I don't hang up on telemarketers. Oh well...

Blah. I've gone on about this enough. And I do feel better now. Hopefully I can get my creative juices flowing again soon.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Movies...Sigh (or Should I Say Swoon?)

I returned to my apartment in Claremont for the weekend today, but it was a sweltering 85 degrees since I turned the AC off (I was gone for 2 weeks). I know from experience that it takes a good 4 hours to get the temp down to normal (well, my normal) when it's that hot, so I decided to go to the movies.

The times worked out best for me to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest for the second time, but I was really wanting to see Superman Returns. So what did I do? I drove on the freeway, in the direction of traffic, at rush hour, in Los Angeles just to see Superman Returns!

I was very skeptical when I first heard about this movie. Of course when the project first started, it sounded like they were going to remake the earlier movies. Since I loved those movies so much, I was a bit put off by the idea.

It's hard to describe how much I loved the Christopher Reeve Superman movies. We owned them all on Laser Disc. Yes, I said Laser Disc. That's an entirely different story though LOL. My sister was so in love with Superman as a little girl that she used to play the movie EVERY DAY and kiss the TV screen when he'd come on LOL!

In fact my dad mentioned two nights ago that he wondered if she is still single because she's still in love with Superman LOL! Now after watching the movie, I think I might be the one in love with Superman. A friend of mine (who shall remain nameless:P) has a thing for Batman. I realized in the movie today that Superman is to me what Batman is to her...sigh.

So can you tell that I loved this movie? I really did. I didn't want it to end. I stayed til the very end of the credits. That said, I have to say that I am soooo glad this movie is more of a sequel than a remake. It didn't take anything away from the earlier movies, and while I did mentally compare some things, I wasn't consumed by comparisons. I really wished this movie didn't have to end. Oh, did I say that already? I sure hope they make another one.

I liked Pirates of the Caribbean when I saw it on Friday (yes, opening night), but I truly loved Superman Returns. It just might be my favorite movie of the summer. It's a close call with Cars...

Ok, I've rambled on enough. I just had to share my love of Superman and Superman Returns.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Another Pit Stop...

I stopped in Quartzite for gas since it would be cheaper there than when I crossed over the border. I found this sign and cactus there that I decided to take some photos of when I stopped! These are the last of my trip photos.

The cactus may look a bit distorted. I had to use my wide angle lens to get it all in!