Tag Archives: Opera

Just Another Day in Paradise

I think we have had four sunny days this month… I know we played hooky for two and did much needed yard work for two. Today might be one more. Our weather is a real tease this time of year but I am always grateful to live here. A few days ago, Opera Boy and I went to Woodburn to see the Tulip fields. Of course it wasn’t one of the sunny days, but tulips aren’t around all the time. I have tried twice before to be there when the fields were full of color without too many people… this time we got it right.

I took my Nikon with my 60mm but I also took my Kodak Duaflex, circa 1950, for a very different treatment. The next four images are from a merging of old camera and new camera… I hope you like the look.




The sky was as much a part of the show as the flowers… we only got a little rain but we sure were a muddy mess when we got back to the car!

Cold Walking

Venice. This time in the beginning of February, 2007. (I try to word it in such a fashion that by some happy chance, I’ll get to go again someday.) Opera Boy and I were there for four fog cloaked days this trip… a much different city than in the Spring. Funny that both arrivals and departures were on sunny days. 

We had come in on the midnight train from Paris… twelve hours of rocketing through a dark landscape I’d liked to have seen. The first sight of Venice is one I have not photographed yet… it is a place where all of the land vehicles stop and all of the water starts. So far, it brings me to my visual knees and I am consumed just being there. Next time I will collect myself and make a point of catching that amazing transition. Our first chore this trip was to find our hotel and a laundromat.

The fog settled in and we spent the next couple of days wandering at will.

This day brought me a blister, a few small pieces of local pottery and three glass cherries each for me and my sister. Best of all, it gave me new vistas at every turn… a veritable treasure box of images.

The Straw Bridge, the lower one with the crowd on it is pretty much what the whole city is like. Tourism is huge here and probably not a little abusive. I came away from both trips with a sense of wanting to help preserve this special place. If you go, treat her gently.

This is no way to run a blog…

… at least that’s what they tell me. Well, I have to say that this month has been completely outta control so the blog has been wishful thinking at best.

I made the mistake of cleaning my windows on one of the early sunny days… everything was fine until I stuck my head out of the skylight and got a good look at my south roof. After a minor panic attack, we started the process of getting bids to replace the roof. This one has been on since 1981 so, yes, it was time but I thought we might be able to wait until this summer. Not so much. Now we have to wait for the lovely spring weather to clear so the guy we hired can come do the work.
Of course, in anything like house repair, one project always leads to another. ;0)
Last Saturday Opera Boy smiled as he handed me an electric drill and a flat bar… I spent the next few hours prying the first part of the old front porch off of my house. Apparently, we have decided to replace it. And then comes the paint. Sigh.

Meanwhile, March 13th was the 10 year mark for my Mom’s death. I had planned to run a beautiful little photo essay about her but the further I got into the process of scanning old photos, I realized I have a lot to say. Dad’s 20 year mark comes in May so I am thinking I might wait until I can do them both some justice.

This one is from their wedding in July, 1950… Grace H. Benson married Allan B. Bosworth… he was just out of the Navy and she was still in. They look happy to me and so very young.

To be continued…

The one that got away…

campo_san_stefano_morning

Photographers must all have a longish list of shots that we only took in our head… I can’t be the only one.
Opera Boy and I went to Venice for the first time in 2006. We got to our little hotel completely beaten up by the flying. The tall windows in our room looked out over Campo San Stefano… interesting and busy in the late afternoon light.

san_stefano

So we walked to stretch out and find a quick meal, stealing to bed as it got dark… it was like drifting off to sleep on a movie set… the cafes don’t get going until after dark so all of the friends and laughing people gathering for dinner mingled with faint music and, always, the sound of heels on stone.
I woke up at dawn and looked out the window… trying to identify a sound.

Here is where you will have to imagine the Campo empty save for one man and a two wheeled blue cart. He was sweeping the whole place with a long brush broom… made of twigs like we see in our fairy tales. No cars in Venice, of course, so he is the garbage service.
I was so entranced by the whole thing, I had to just watch. The camera, in the unpacking of it, would have made me miss something I wanted to see.

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I went back to bed but my dreams were colored by that early morning encounter. Next time, I will be better prepared.

This old world must still be spinning ’round…

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Last Spring I wrote a little about how fast time goes for me… nothing has changed in that but I am still surprised. November has come and is already at the exit… an audible whoosh in it’s wake. I took 4 hours this week to rake the leaves and trim the lavenders, to put up the hoses and pull in the houseplants that live outside in the nice weather. Yes, it was stolen time but not from work… I took it out of my gym time. Burned some calories and got some fresh air in the mix.

Work has been it’s own angry red planet this year… the season was short but kind of packed so all of the work has been crammed into a short space… not particularly graceful but it looks good when I get through it. ;0)
I have a few more jobs to finish in the next two weeks and then there is a stretch of about four months that will be dedicated to album design and production.

Our household expanded by one cat this year. Joey Tallboy chose our house at the beginning of August. Frankie has had a rough time trying to adjust but he gets a lot of points for trying. It occurs to me that I have not properly introduced the Tuna Kings to the blog yet. For now, a couple of faces to go with the names… Frankie is the silver boy and Joey is the guy in the tux. Both have attitude to spare.

adjustmentfrankie2009joey2009

Opera Boy has just about finished his back to school stint… now if only the job market will be kind to him… for now, we have domestic projects to keep him off of the streets.
He gets points for patience and perseverance in all things.

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Still waiting for the other shoe to drop regarding the empty lot behind my house… as I understand it, someone is about to build a fat assed house on a space that has been open for my 29 years here. There are already trees missing and a taped outline that seems very large… no digging yet but I know it will come soon enough. We are going to plant more birches and try to recover some of the shade and privacy lost… if I can restore some of the bird space, I will.
I have found myself looking out my bathroom window to try to lock the green space in my mind. I hope the new house isn’t yellow or pink!
This shot was taken through the screen… my apologies for the extra texture in the sky. I expect to post occasional updates as this progresses.
Frankie brought in a most beautiful garter snake this summer… I got some up close time as I released him back into the wooded corner of the lot. I have to hope that some of that habitat will continue.

In the long run it has been a year for holding our breath, for waiting to see, for keeping the faith… I can live with that for now.

A Little Zen in the Afternoon

kites_september1

Opera Boy and I took a much needed day off today. Even with the gloomy skies, we drove west to the coast… no agenda but we packed our kites. Seaside was full of old Detroit Iron and seriously silly California Plastic. We hadn’t planned on taking that in but it was on the way to Gearhart so we strolled a bit with all of the other tourists, point and shoot in hand.
seaside

Four years ago, our first date was a kite thing on a very gusty September day. I didn’t know him outside of the gym at that point but I was intrigued that a grown man would go to the beach and fly a kite to calm down. Hmm.

kites_gearhart

I bought a stunt kite on a day when I had forgotten my regular kite…. it took a few sessions to get a feel for it. Now we trade it back and forth and I sense a chance to escape the real world for a bit with my hands in the straps. It makes me laugh out loud.
The stunt kite is one of the two handed/two string types….you don’t just put in the air……you move it all around. The zen comes from giving it up to it’s own wants instead of a tight control……arcs and swoops and dives, oh my!
A little like a good relationship?

A common thread…

Opera Boy used to annoy the hell out of me at the gym. Of course, he wasn’t Opera Boy yet…. we just called him Ron. His ability to trap you on the treadmill was legendary… talk you right through your allotted time. Over the course of a few years, I got kind of used to him. His topics were fairly varied and he talked to everyone so I didn’t mind so much after a while.

One of his favorite topics was, and still is cars. He made some points early on because little foreign cars, old sexy sports cars were his thing. Now, you may need to know that my only car since 1979 has been a 1973 MGB-GT and you may need to know that my dad and I used to run rallies and autocross when I was in high school. Dad and his father used to race his ’46 MG-TC and Grandpa had a big yellow Jag when he lived in Japan.  Ron has a 1973 Alfa Romeo Spyder and a 1976 TR-7/8…. garaged and in project mode. So, naturally, Ron and I had some common ground there.

The other thing he liked to talk about was photography. What a coincidence… I do, too.

Since we became a couple in late 2005, many of our weekend outings have involved cameras and cars.opera_blog1This beautiful 1941 Packard was one of about 7 period cars at the Oregon Ballet Gala in the Spring of 2007….not a sports car per se  but very voluptuous in a Mae West sort of way.

We have made a habit of the All British Field Meets at PIR, Portland Swap Meet, and  one fabulous trip to the Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach.

When my time frees up a little there will be a gallery on my new web site dedicated to those sleek, sexy machines.

I’ll tell you more about Opera Boy later.