Monday, July 30, 2007

A Peek Inside

Bruce and I are heading out for some adventure later today. We've been puzzling about where to go to spend a few days. Naturally I have more ideas than we have time, but hey, a girl can dream can't she? He asked me which way we were headed, north, or south? My response at 1 o'clock was--I'm not sure. I was thinking of the Fort Myers area as I've wanted to see Thomas Edison's house for ages. When I was a girl I was enamored of inventors--maybe that's why I married one. Did you know that about Bruce? He can not only fix anything, but he can invent stuff as well. Re: my booth display as the latest example. People are usually very impressed with the booth if nothing else!

Another idea was Charleston, South Carolina. I've never been there, and the idea of actually leaving the state is appealing. My friends from the northeast can hop from state to state like nobodies business, but here in Florida, it is a commitment. I believe I have mentioned in the past that if you drove from Key West to the Panhandle it would be something like 1,000 miles. At least lots of it is pretty. When we were just babies, (24), we moved to California. I thought we would never get out of Texas alive as it is 880 miles across nothing but scrub--or so it seemed at the time. As well, it was late August with no AC in the car. My goodness, it was quite the trip. Traveling through Palm Springs, CA, I thought we would surely melt. It was about 130 degrees. We wet towels and put them over the open windows for what seemed like a bit of coolish air. How people lived out there before air-conditioning is beyond me.

Jonathan and Alissa are on the road to their new life as I type. Last we heard they were in Alabama, the car packed, and the cat on Alissa's lap.

So, there you go--when I return, you'll find out where we went.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Jesters

I don't exactly know what I'm doing wrong with this blog, but I've now posted two photos without text. When I start typing it comes up bold, and underlined; even when I click that off , it comes back. At any rate, here we are on Sunday night. These little fellows were at the market today--I'm not entirely sure what a person does with them, but they are kinda cute nonetheless.

I'm doing my best not to be discouraged as I'm told when the weather cools the market will become livelier--that is, with paying customers. I was almost skunked again today until after lunch. To make a long story short, some folks came to get one of my downtown bar sign pictures because apparently their daughter/granddaughter saw it a week or so ago and wanted it mightily. Her grandparents bought it for her for a graduation present, unbeknownst to her. She brought her family to the booth about 30 minutes later looking for the picture to show them. If you can imagine, she was crestfallen when it was not there. She will have a happy surprise come Saturday. That sort of thing makes the market worth it. As well it encourages me that even if they don't buy something today--they may just be waiting until the time is right.

Tomorrow is the big day--Jonathan, and Alissa, start their drive to Chicago. Wow--I can hardly believe the date has arrived as I'm sure they can't either. They are super excited; the mother in me is trying desperately not to be too worried. Allissa's phone interview went well and she is scheduled for a face to face interview on Thursday. That is happy news.

The iMac and I are getting along pretty well for just getting acquainted. Thank God for Matt--without him getting me to a starting point I would still be in trouble. Bruce was a dollas always, taking down my old computer and getting the new one on my desk, complete with speakers, and a sub-woofer (it's a guy thing). I spent a bunch more time yesterday sorting pictures--I am struggling with a way to organize them, but give me a bit, and I may just figure it out.

Still Not Entirely Clear

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Stepping Into the Unknown

Indeed that is what I was doing. If you can imagine, it took me all day to load my pictures and music on the new computer. Of course it was because I didn't know what I was doing, but they are on there now. I had burned the pictures onto DVDs as I may have mentioned. Apparently, what that meant was that every photo I've taken in the last six months was on there, including all the originals that had been edited, so there were doubles on lots of them. All total it was about 5,000!!! For the first three discs I went back and sent the ones I didn't want into the trash, emptied it, but then I got weary of that and just continued the transfer.

I thought I had finally got the hang of it and that I was putting them into some sort of order. Not so. I was making albums when I probably should have been making folders. Consequently they are mostly in order of how I took them. One thing about that is that I think I can see some progression in my skills. As most of you know I've only been at this stuff since Christmas. I had always liked taking pictures yet never experimented because of cost. Camera Crazy was born when I got my "baby camera."

On the other hand, the music transfer was quick and easy. I downloaded (is that the right term?) 4,000 songs in no time at all. Literally, I worked on the photos for probably 12 hours.

Posting of photos to this site may be crazy until I sort things out.

When Carol and Hank were visiting they fell in love with darling Baxter--really, everyone who meets him does. They are visiting a breeder today in California to see about getting a Yorkie. You may not know how we acquired Baxter and that he is our first dog. He really belongs to Bill and Leanne--we only became his foster parents a little over a year ago. At any rate, C & H have only ever had cats. I think they will like having a dog; I know we certainly have. Of course, we did not have to do all the puppy work. BTW--David and Victoria Beckham live on Carol's street in Beverly Hills. She tells me the papparazi are swarming.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Morning Sun

Here is the new quilt with the morning sun streaming through the blinds. It's really a perfect match for our furnishings and the paint color of the room. The dust ruffle is still a work in progress. It's very challenging to find dust ruffles these day--maybe because of platform beds. I like having storage space under my bed, thank you very much.

I'm typing this on my brand new iMac. Let me tell you, I believe I'm already in love. The keyboard is super nice. Here's the most incredible part about this whole thing. Matt, of course, suggested I look at one. I was immediately amazed at the no cord business. I looked a few days ago and today Bruce said--just go get it. Well, he didn't have to tell me twice. I had a super nice young man as a salesman--Tom. That was my dad's name. At any rate, I was nervous about learning something new but I decided to give it a shot. Of course I knew that Matt could help me if I was in a pinch. I didn't know just how much. When I arrived home I sent him an e-mail in London--fortunately it wasn't too late at the time. He got right back with me and get this--he took control of my computer from London and loaded all my essentials, including this! It was so fun watching the screen change from this to that.

I spent a good part of yesterday burning all my pictures on DVDs so that I could put them on some new computer. My old one was running as slow as molasses. Bruce was appalled and wondered why I was putting up with it. Well--no longer. I'm so excited.

One thing though, there was about the biggest thunder and lightening storm happening during the final portion of my conversation with Matt. We had ended the meeting session on the computer when the storm starting picking up. It sounded like gun shots from the sky. Really spectacular. Unfortunately it kicked off the power and with that my beautiful new computer went dark.

Happily, it is back on now.

Thank God Bruce is safe. He was flying home from Ohio while the storm was lashing. Apparently he was in a small plane and drinks were flying; he went flying up himself and his head hit the ceiling of the plane. My poor baby. They diverted the plane to Tampa so now he won't be home till I'm not even sure. He called from there and said it was possibly the worst flight he's been on. As you can imagine he's been on plenty. He's worked for Darden for 15 years in November and traveled most every week all these years. He is amazing about it--he never lets the travel complications get to him. Fortunately Matthew has inherited that gene and just goes with the flow.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

"We understand backward but live forward."

I read that yesterday in an article in the Times about medicine. The credit for that statement goes to Kierkegaard. The title of the article is: Medicine, Constantly Redefined and Redefining Lives, written by Dr. Elissa Ely. The crux of the article is that often physicians make a diagnosis with the current information available, only to find out later that they were wrong, or gave medications that did harm. Here's what she wrote: The ground beneath professional feet should grow firmer over time-one ought to feel more certain of what one knows. But the more I know, the more I am afraid."

My internist has acknowledged as much. I have cried many times in his office telling him that something is wrong--why can't they tell me what. He said the longer he practices medicine the humbler it makes him. He is a very decent man, about my age, the son of an Iowan farmer. He is one of those doctors who is really in it to help his fellow man--he told me he would be ashamed to see his father if he had done it for any other reason.

All that to tell you that my twin nemesises have come calling. So much so that I had to take both a nausea pill, and a pain pill on Monday night. Normally I just live with the dull pain, but Monday was just too much. Consequently I was slow moving for much of yesterday. I slept on my heating pad last night rather than take anything again. Hopefully today I'll feel perkier.

I had a lovely chat with Matt on Monday evening. He is doing so beautifully in London--but, you knew he would, didn't you?

Dave turned in the biggest deal of his career yesterday. It is astonishing how much money he makes. He called on the way to the appointment confessing to nervousness which was only just striking him. I told him that was how he was supposed to feel.

Alissa has a phone interview for a job in Chicago! Wouldn't that be marvelous if something comes from it? Matt has offered them the use of all his furnishings left in storage in Chicago. It would be a win-win situation for both parties. Hurray for families!

The blue heron and I are looking at downtown Orlando from a different vantage point in this picture. If you've never been to Orlando you probably can't imagine the amount of water in the city. There are lakes everywhere. According to my geology professor it is because Florida was completely submerged underwater until 30 million years ago. Whatever the case, it makes for beauty.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Let's Catch Up, Shall We?

This is the first photograph I've taken with the self-timer. It's incredibly hard for me to get a good night time shot because of motion. As you can see, Orlando is a city of cranes. These are only two of about twenty to dot the downtown landscape. The largest building to the far left is where Bruce is coveting a place. The ground floor will house a Publix which is the fantastic grocery store based in Lakeland. When Matt moved to Chicago he was miserable shopping at Jewel. Publix had infiltrated Atlanta, his place of residence before Chicago, it was his store of choice. Their motto is--Where shopping is a pleasure. Now I don't exactly find pleasure in grocery shopping these days, but I can appreciate a clean, well-stocked store nonetheless. I think all those years of shopping for six did me in.

Saturday I went to a Radiology conference. I intend to keep my license current even though I'm not taking x-rays at the moment. Saw old co-workers and caught up on a bit of the gossip. Who is pregnant, sick, happy, or sad. Turns out a wonderful girl who has two teenagers is due in November--surprise!

Yesterday was a skunking for me at the market--not even one sale. I could feel down about it, but I'm choosing not to. Happily Bruce took the prints over to the bistro after our set-up. He and the owner hung them along with the little statement from Matt. He took some pictures; when I figure out how to move it to the blog I will. I slept very poorly on Saturday night because I was having bad dreams about the prints. I dreamed that Bruce got there and the owner said, I don't like those at all. In the interest of time we used black matting as the framer had a lot of it. I used a new framer and I was very pleased with their work. As it was, the owner was quite pleased telling Bruce that when he doubles his space I am welcome to hang more!

An unusually rainy day here in Orlando. We are accustomed to late afternoon storms, however, it has been raining pretty steadily since about 11. Nothing of course like what England is going through. Apparently it made Matt's return from Wales more of an adventure than he originally bargained for. A big weather event is so humbling....we realize how little control we have over our lives. Around here they preach about hurricane preparedness like it's Armageddon or something. Let me tell you...there is very little that we can do about a hurricane. The aftermath maybe...the storm is all God's gig.

Yesterday one of the young woman who stopped asked me if I had any fashion related pictures. She had seen one I show from the Chanel store. I went through my stuff and decided that today while returning something to Crate & Barrel that I might try a few more. Hmmm...they stopped me in my tracks at Bloomingdales. Ma'am, there is no photography allowed in the store. Next time, stealth will be my MO.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Who's He Talking About?


Gail Peck sets out to represent the environment through which she
moves. Whether it's a neighbor's yard or local landmarks like Leu
Gardens, Peck seeks the beautiful in the details of her lived
experience. Appropriate to Florida, many of her photographs are
naturally lit, but as the work shown here makes clear, beauty and
sunshine don't preclude melancholy. Beyond the contrast of light and
dark, these images place other artists' work in a natural context,
inviting viewers to contemplate the relationship between made and
organic.

Do you recognize that woman in either print or photo?

I asked Matthew to write a little blurb about me to put up in the bistro with the prints as the owner requested. I sent the images to Matt; you just read what he came up with. Should he be writing for the "New Yorker" or what? I was so pleased. I might add that he said, "here's something to start with." LOL, I'm not changing a thing.

I'm embracing the waves in the back of my head with this new haircut. Earlier this week I saw a girl with a haircut I liked in the Nordstrom catalog. As I've gotten older, the thick hair in the back has gotten increasingly wavy. It took energy to tame that mane of mine. I asked my stylist, Peter O'Toole if he thought it would work; he said it would be perfect. What I'm going to like most about it, aside from it being cooler, is the short sides. I hate it when your hair is about chin length-- it gets in your mouth when you eat. I know that sounds icky, but hey, it's the truth. He cut off many inches. After I had it done, I went to the museum to continue my data entry job. I brought my Shuffle with me today as I'm in a room by myself--boohoo! As I sat there I thought maybe I should take a quick picture of what it is supposed to look like. It'll be a reference when I can't really do it myself. He promises it is wash and wear--right up my alley.

David called last night around 9. It seems as if Michelle's car was broken into in the Florida Mall parking lot. I mean that literally--they broke the window and stole her laptop in daylight. Unfortunately, Orlando is in the midst of a crime wave. Every day you hear about these bold robberies taking place at ATMs, houses, hotels, and parking lots. I'm uncertain why this is happening as it used to be a pretty quiet place. The car is a bummer; the laptop a nightmare. It contained her whole work life which is pretty miserable to replace. There's debate whether it is better to leave things unlocked so they can just snatch and grab, rather than smash and grab. What do you think?

The prints are at the framers, and of all things, the quilt arrived in today's post.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

One of Many

Yes, this is one of Tom Ritter's lovely orchids.

Random Thoughts and Updates:
  • Although I have thick hair with almost no gray (thank you Mom), Locks of Love does not want it. My excuse for not getting a haircut is no longer valid. Apparently hair can be colored, but not highlighted. For whatever reason, we used to call it frosted which sounds so dorky to me now. At any rate, a new haircut is in store for tomorrow.
  • Here are two of my most favorite foods: broccoli and potatoes. As far as broccoli is concerned I prefer it just cooked with butter and lemon juice, however for the vegans in our midst, red wine vinegar and olive oil is tasty as well. I love potatoes almost any way. Mashed is the best. I could eat both of them daily.
  • Am I the last person to still wear a slip under a dress or skirt?
  • Fall schedule is set; I'm taking the easy way out. Intro to Film, Speech, and Music Appreciation. Music is online with a starting date of mid-October. Speech and film only meet once a week. And of course there is the internship.
  • Speaking of which, I can see that there is a lot of grunt work associated with a museum. I'm currently volunteering a few days a week. My present job is data entry for a merchant's mailing list. Interesting, right?
  • We have the most stupendous thunder and lightening in the afternoons. The rain is our natural coolant.
  • Bruce's flight home from Virginia has been canceled. His last canceled flight was ten years ago! Boohoo!
  • I will be attending an imaging seminar on Saturday for four continuing education points. Not photography, the medical kind. As you know, I tell people I've always been a photographer, I just used bigger equipment.
  • Here's some lyrics from Snow Patrol that I think are great: Goodness knows I saw it coming, or at least I'll claim I did. Has that every applied to you?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tom Ritter Orchids

I was planning on a road trip today but I was stymied about where to go so I stayed close to home instead. I left early to go out to the Convention Center as it is a pretty interesting building. Unfortunately they wanted $10 to park so I had to content myself with taxi parking and shoot just some outside shots. I'll post one sometime soon.

I tried to find something interesting on the main tourist strip--International Drive; I failed that assignment. I did come across a place called "Fun Spot" with a great ferris wheel and such, but it was off the main drag. A quick trip into the Gap outlet to return some shorts, and then the above pictured stop.

This is Tom Ritter's orchid greenhouse. It is a surreal experience to be sure as the roots hang all about you, and you have these tiny walkways in between at least a thousand orchids. He is infamous in these parts because he has been raising orchids for decades. He is at least in his late 70's, a real country boy in the city. I photographed every orchid I could amongst all the roots and pots.

The gentleman's backside you see is from Savannah, Georgia. He and his wife began collecting orchids three years ago and now have a greenhouse of their own with over 100 plants. I heard her speak and I said, "You sound like Paula Deen," and she replied that she was from the same city. She was very proud of the fact that her little dog she carried goes everywhere with them and has never seen the insides of a kennel. Hmmm.....

Yesterday you may have noticed I posted only the picture. Amaya got my point, it is incredible the marketing tie-ins that are out there. Naturally I didn't buy it, I only took the photo to share. Was Elizabeth Taylor the first to tie celebrity in with perfume?

Bruce is out of town. He's visiting six different restaurants in three days all around the Virginia area. Unfortunately, that leaves little time for sightseeing, only traffic jams. Poor baby.

I'm puzzling about my class schedule for my final semester at Valencia. Three classes, and the internship--I've nearly made it!

Finished reading: On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan. A novella that is extraordinary.
Listening to: Boxer by The National--super cool.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Shopping

I finally went and did a little shopping. I was trying to surprise Bruce with this quilt he coveted from Crate & Barrel. I was unwilling to pay the exorbitant price that Bloomingdales charges for a dust ruffle, so my trip began at Target. They had several to choose from that were about half the price of the ones at Bloomies. I purchased that, then continued down the road on my way to the mall. Yeah--I saw a Michaels, and pulled in there to look at their frames. No dice on the frames, however, I did buy bags for customers which was on our list for this week. Back in the MINI to the Mall at Millenia. I call the whole area Shopping Mecca because there is nearly any type of store you could possibly need, and many that you don't. What will make it even more so come fall is the new IKEA store that is being built. We are super excited. As well they are building a West Elm in front of the mall and that is also cause for anticipation.

So I pull into my space, saunter into the store, and ask the clerk, "How do I buy this?" She replies that it has to be ordered but it will arrive in two days. I think to myself-I can live with that. Bruce is going out of town in the morning for three days-Voila--when he arrives home we'll have a brand new bedroom. NOT! It turns out that it takes two days to process the order and between 7-10 days for it to arrive. Good grief, what kind of store is this anyway? I ponied up anyway.

Jonathan is making great strides with his move. He was treated like royalty by Matt's friends in Chicago. They invited him to a birthday party, and he got to meet the gang. From our conversation I learned that he and Alissa are going to ditch most of what they have, and ship what won't fit in the MINI. This seems like a great plan.

I must tell you that the pool temperature is divine at the moment. I do love to swim.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bat Flower

For those of you who don't frequent my flickr page here's the incredible bloom I told you about. The tentacles (if you will) are really about a foot long--simply amazing!

Highlights of the market today:
  • Lisa and Amanda surprised us--it was so nice of them to brave the heat!
  • A jogger who stopped by in the morning came back later in the day and bought a photo.
  • One of my flickr "friends" brought his wife to show her my booth. She was lovely.
  • A photographer's wife bought one of my pieces.
  • That same photographer had lots of pertinent info to share with us. One of which is that he launched his business at the market. He thinks I have a shot at bigger, and better, venues.
  • We made it home in time to beat the rain.
Lowlights of the market today:

  • Slim crowds.
  • Heat. Sweat.
  • New vendor: They were plant vendors which normally I would love to have next to us, however he had a line for each customer. Here's what it was: "Welcome to my jungle! I sell global warming protection devices." This shtick was delivered while wearing overalls and a pith helmut. After I had heard it about ten times I wanted to kick him!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

It's Saturday

Perhaps it is sunny while you are reading this. Because it's been raining for the last two hours here I decided to post a little sunshine in a flower; I hope it makes you smile.

The poster arrived in the post yesterday and I was having a real challenge getting it together in the frame and mat that I had purchased. Bruce to the rescue! I was invited in during delivery and I can just say that I am just a tad proud. The room that he is going to hang it in is absolutely perfect for the photo. I can't recall if I posted the picture to this space, so forgive me if I repeat myself. It is of a riverside bar in the early morning. All of the colorful umbrellas are closed; it is definitely a photo that makes you want to be there. He was very pleased with it and would like to see more so my little portfolio is going to come in handy. I think I should probably put together different ones for different type clients. I told you this stuff is keeping me way busy!

The good news is that Jonathan has secured an apartment in Chicago--next step--employment!
Apparently you have to put down the first months rent with an application and if you are approved you have to either take the place or lose your deposit. If you know Jonathan you know that he canceled his next day's appointments and he's in like Flynn. In fact, it left him with a little free time which he used to buy a scalped Chicago Cubs ticket and saw a game. I am jealous. Wrigley Stadium has always looked so appealing on television--I'd love to be there in person. When we visited Matt in Chicago we went to a White Sox game which was super fun.

Bruce is working but when he returns we are going to go buy a computer for his mother. She always cries when she talks to Bruce and this time it was about her ailing computer. We found a package deal at Circuit City and with help from his brother and sister we will make at least that problem go away for her. We're going to have them go to the house and set the whole thing up to ensure it all goes smoothly. If either my youngest, or oldest son were here they could do the job. Happily, they have exciting lives to live elsewhere.

Hard to believe that Sunday is here again-- another test at the market. I'll say this much--it's very interesting to put yourself out there for people to either ignore, or like. Fortunately, I don't take it too personally if they pay me no mind. I'm doing something brand new at age 53, and that is a pretty cool thing in my book.

Before the Murakami book, I read a book of short stories by Lee Smith. I read so few American authors these days but she is one of my favorites. Her stories are all set in the South--aside from North Florida, the rest is hardly considered Southern. At least not when you compare it to Georgia or South Carolina. At any rate the book is called News of the Spirit and it was excellent.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

City Hall

I imagine you've never been in Orlando's City Hall, neither had I except for when they were building it. I remember when the boys were young we used to traipse around downtown, probably after a library visit. One day I talked someone into letting us go up to the top of not only the under-construction City Hall (9 floors), but the top of the Sun Trust tower(20 something). I hadn't thought of that in years until I was walking up the steps to City Hall to drop off my calendar photo submissions. I turned in four, but you and I both know I took way more photos than that. I'll be super excited if they like just one of them. Picasa made this process much simpler because they have something called web albums. I upload pictures to that then anyone can see the albums . I sent the invite to Matt in London and he helped me choose which ones were best. Isn't it astonishing what the Internet has made possible? You can see them as well--here's the address: http://picasaweb.google.com/gailpeck I've made albums of flowers, the market, buildings, you name it!

So much for "red sky at night, sailors delight", red sky in morning, sailor take warning." The sky is rumbling like anything as I type.

Jonathan called while I was at Leu Gardens this morning--he was on the train in Chicago from the airport. I asked him if he was nervous, and he said a little bit. Fortunately as I mentioned, two of Matt's friends are putting him up for one night each. He's looking at apartments right this minute!

I usually try to go to Leu Gardens at least once a week to see what is in bloom; I was not disappointed today. I'll post it soon--an amazing bloom--I hesitate to call it a flower because it is so unusual. Nevertheless, someone calls it a flower because it's name is--"bat flower." Unfortunately, it is hard to really convey the intricacy of it in a photograph. Maybe someone more talented than I can. We'll see what you think.

Re: Jonathan, or really, for that matter, all of us:

"Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be learned." Helen Keller

And then there's this:

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Red Sky at Night

I guess this means there will be no rain to speak of tomorrow. After a nice little supper I took Baxter down to the lake to catch the sunset. There was a boat on the lake with a water skier just prior to my taking this picture. I was stunned at the beautiful red/pink reflection of the sky in the water.

Jonathan heads to Chicago at 6AM tomorrow. He's very excited and now that I know he has some wonderful friends of Matthew to put him up I'm feeling much more relaxed about the whole thing. He is super excited and optimistic and I intend to be also. Apparently he went to a midnight showing of Harry Potter last night and enjoyed it. I suppose when I was young I could stay up till all hours and go to work in the morning.

That reminds me that when I was an 18 year old x-ray student there was no coverage in x-ray overnight. If someone came into the emergency room with a complaint (invariably, they had the complaint for weeks but chose the middle of the night to come to the ER) we were called from our nice beds to drive to the hospital and take the x-ray. Sometimes you would just have arrived back home when the phone would ring again. What a nightmare! You'll get a laugh at this--one night I had to take the x-ray into the ER doc and he was lying down. I walked over to the cot, called his name, and stepped on his glasses which were placed on the floor by his bed. You guessed it--I broke them. He reached for them and started repeating--YOU BROKE MY GLASSES! Imagine how a young girl like myself felt right about then even if it was his fault for leaving them on the floor.

I met with another framer today about the pictures for the bistro. I'm mulling it over at the moment.

Bill tells me that he has applied to be on a reality show about guitar shredding. For the uninitiated that means someone who can play electric guitar extraordinarily fast with proficiency. No doubt about it--he can do it. It seems as if some ex-NFL player is working with Fox to get the show together. Hmmm...I'll keep you tuned.

I'm reading a great book by one of my favorite authors--After Dark by Haruki Murakami. He is a fantastic Japanese author. His work is a bit fanciful yet realistic at the same time. If you've never heard of him you might want to check him out.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

This is Florida

Big beautiful clouds, brilliant blue sky, palms, and of course, cool, refreshing water.

I was picking up my prints from Costco and wondered what I could photograph in the vicinity. Tupperware headquarters came to mind, and here you see their beautiful fountain in the front of the building. Somehow I missed the news that they had sold their auditorium and it is now an arts school for Osceola county. At any rate, their headquarters are located about 15 miles from downtown Orlando. And speaking of Tupperware, it is the only thing I've ever sold in my life. The truth of the matter is that I wasn't very good. When we moved to California I signed up so that I could be home with Mattie in the day time. Part of the problem was that I knew only Bruce's parents and to be successful you have to have a network of people to start with. I do have an adorable picture of Matthew climbing on a chair--presumably to knock down my Tupperware display!

So, now I'm selling photographs--at least this time I have a huge network of people. It is funny how there have been people we know come down to the market that have no idea what I'm doing; occasionally they buy something. I hope they are pleasantly surprised by my stuff.

I picked up the prints so quickly because I wanted to put those 4 X 6's in my little portfolio book and take it to that bistro. Well, great news. He liked some of the stuff, and I said I could have it to him within the week!! Now I'll need to order two more enlargements, get the frames, mats, etc. and we're get to go. Here's the deal--they take no commission so if I were lucky enough to sell either one, the profit would be ours! It seems as if I can't go wrong on this deal. They plan to expand the restaurant soon. They only want pictures of Winter Park for that space--I'll have to take that under consideration.

Jonathan is leaving for Chicago in two days to apartment hunt. He now has some employment contacts as well. I can hardly believe he is doing this as he was the absolute shyest young man you could imagine. I used to wonder how he could be my child as I'll talk to just about anybody. Let's hope he can find something reasonable and that someone will rent to him even though he has no job. He may have been shy but he's always been a brain. I'm sure it will serve him well.

Monday, July 9, 2007

A Corner Booth

The Beacon looks nice doesn't it? The food was very tasty as well.

Matt called last evening and he had a fab time in Wales. Apparently they hiked up the highest mountain in the British Isles. You can see his photos on flickr; they are lovely. He is in my contact list as 5500. A birthday, Wimbledon, and Wales all in one week! One wonders how he has time to work.

You must have been sending good vibes our way as we sold six pieces on Sunday with very thin crowds. As well, we have an order for a poster! I made a slight error and gave him too low a price. sIt seems as if we'll only make back our cost on that one, but we're still learning as we go. Nevertheless, if he has folks to his place, and they notice it, he may send them my way which would naturally be super great. It seems as if the market is good for networking even when we don't have sales. The heat was bearable, and fortunately no rain.

I've a new motto to go with my previous "fake it till you make it" motto. On Saturday we were at the mall and who should we see but the attending physician from my hospital stay. He says--"Hi Gail", I respond in kind. Next I tell him that I've not managed to get better and here's what he says--"At least you're alive!" He pats my arm, and off he goes! We were taken aback to say the least. He is actually the one who told us that I had metastatic pancreatic cancer, so I guess he was acknowledging it was a good deal he was mistaken. So we'll put the two together to describe my life today.

I've spent today ordering prints, buying frames, and mats. It is amazing how long all this stuff takes me. It's a good thing that I enjoy this because it sure doesn't pay very well! I picked up a little portfolio book today which I'm going to fill with 4 X 6 prints. I'll be able to take it to the Bistro I mentioned last week as well as have it at the market. This way if we don't have the enlargement on display there may be something else that appeals to lookers.

Van Morrison, Nick Drake, The Howling Bells, Stereophonics, Supergrass, and Bloc Party have kept me company while I've been sitting at the computer. It's been fun but now it's time to get the blood moving in my legs. Stay tuned.....

Saturday, July 7, 2007

What's My Number?

Good morning all!

Hope everyone is having a lovely Saturday morning. I had forgotten that there was a flickr group entitled 7/07/07. The idea is to post seven pictures taken on the seventh. You figured that out I'm sure--forgive me.

At any rate, I realized it this morning when I was checking my contacts photos that are in different time zones. Aha! I decided to focus on seven things. Well, not entirely, but that's what I've started anyway. While in a craft store looking for frames I purchased a bag of colorful buttons which I artistically (haha, I'm no artist), arranged into the numerals 7/7/7. As well, I have these color packed small bowls -- I once again arranged them in a group of seven. I was kinda looking for stuff that not everyone else will do.

I've been thinking about this for a while so I got out the boy's old California Raisins and worked with them. They are such funny little figures. I put them along the pool, then in the poo--you get the idea. I remember when they were collecting them from Hardees. We would go after church on Sundays to try and get the latest one. I believe I told you that I had asked them to clear out their stuff, however, it still remains intact in their old closets. Frankly, I need the space!

Jonathan has some names of folks that he can contact in Chicago now about employment. He is apparently in the surety business. I only knew that he currently works for an attorney and they do all kinds of bonds--probate; well, I forget the rest. This news makes me very happy. As well, Matt is trying to find someone who can put him up during his trip to Chicago--apparently there is the Pitchfork weekend going on which is causing the lodging options to be limited.

Speaking of Matt, he's off to Wales for the weekend. I told you he was a gad-about. He celebrated his birthday with a friend who's also a 07/05 baby!

Bruce and I went on our Friday date to a new (to us) place called the Beacon. Wow--talk about stylish--loved it. I'll share a picture of the inside this week.

It's been a rainy week here in Orlando, let's hope the sky stays blue until the market ends tomorrow--wish me luck!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

31 Years Ago

I will never forget waking up to a baby son; thirty one years ago they still put mom's to sleep when they were having a baby. It was America's bicentennial, and I was five days late. We spent part of the day at Judy, and Cris's, pool and then went home for a nap. We had no air conditioning in those days and I remember laying our heads at the foot of the bed with a huge box fan blowing hot air on us--it was probably in the middle 90's. We were invited to go out to Disney to watch the fireworks, however, Bruce wisely said no. When I awoke from the nap I felt a little funny, but we went out to some job site Bruce was working on at the time, then to Lake Eola to watch the fireworks there. When the display was delayed for some reason I really began to get uncomfortable. We managed the walk back to our 1963 VW Beetle and went home for Bruce to shower. I laid on the couch thinking--this must be labor. Off to the hospital we went. By then the pain was pretty intense. Their examination revealed that I was in transition and they were asking--"do you want to be put to sleep?" By this point I was hyperventilating and said--"I'm passing out anyway!" The Lamaze classes were never very helpful to me or maybe I didn't practice enough--at any rate, this first time went like described. Hospital arrival time--10:30pm July 4. Delivery time--1:30am July 5.

I could have never imagined how having Matt would influence my life. I dreamed that we would make this huge impact on his life, and maybe we have, but these days, it's been reversed. This picture perfectly illustrates my point.

The blouse was a gift from Matt. This is my office; most of the photographs you see were taken by him. As well, it was my idea to paint the room orange, with green accents, but he convinced me the other way around was for the best. We went shopping -- he found the curtains which I adore. He tediously painted the brown trim on the shelving, and you already know how much he's helped me with computer issues. Not to mention school issues, and my camera.

When we came home with our adorable little boy it was quite a challenge. I often cried while he cried. I rocked him while singing rock and roll songs to him during the middle of the night hoping to get him to quiet down. He wouldn't walk, nor would he talk. Every baby book I consulted would have had me believe that he was developmentally delayed. The fact of the matter is that he has never done anything, then, or now, that he wasn't perfect at. When he finally began to talk at age 2, it was in sentences. Age 3 found him helping me care for twins. And so the story goes--he is just plain amazing at whatever he does.

Thank God for that day thirty one years ago--it's been quite a ride. Happy Birthday dear Matt.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Proving Once Again...

It's not what you know, but who you know. Here are the new shoes with accompanying black skirt. Notice--no hose; it's Florida for goodness sake. I had a small crisis while getting dressed. I put on this lovely white blouse with lace on front and around the cuff line. I had forgotten that whilst ironing it the iron seared the lace a tad making a small hole. Off with that blouse. Next up--lovely ivory silk blouse--my goodness, is that a spot? No spot--only a hole left by a pin (you know, the jewelry kind). Next up--a lovely light grey silk blouse that Matt gave me for Christmas many years ago--perfect, but kinda low. Now what? Small strand of pearls to the rescue. Furthermore, once on the road I was stopped by a pesky railroad crossing that seems to get stuck on occasion. I knew I left in plenty of time....indeed, I did. I arrived early just as I'd planned with time off for good behavior. Really--I did have some time to do a small bit of photography!! Yeah!

Two women were walking toward me and I mentioned that I was looking for Karen. "Oh, I'm Karen, come on up." They were wearing very casual clothes to say the least! She said--"So, when can you start?" End of interview. Actually, she spent time telling me what she had in mind for an intern to assist with and it all sounded right up my alley. They are planning sixteen separate installations (that seems very ambitious to me) for the season; help is needed in a variety of ways. I really can't get credit until the fall, but I told them I would come on Thursday to help de-install an Asian art exhibit. Thank God for Professor McNair. Apparently, they had become so fed up with various interns not showing up etc. that they were completely turned off at the prospect of another one, no matter how much they need help. Keep your fingers crossed that I can stay perky and not let them down. Now I can plan my final classes at community college; at the end of December I will have my AA.

So--the new shoes were not needed. I'm not sure I could have worn a flip-flops, but, shoes in my closet would have worked just dandy.

I never know why pictures upload sideways and I never know how to change them--please forgive me.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Mr. Guitar

While I was doing the dishes I realized that I forgot to show Bill playing guitar. He was super good the other night. That Michael Angelo is really something! They played a blues number together that sounded really good. Bill played on Mr. Angelo's last album. We all went out afterwards including Mark Tremoni's wife Vicki. Mark was the guitar player for Creed and he was out of town recording an album with his new band. It is really fortunate that he was in on the last of the great CD sales. Creed apparently sold 16 million albums during their heyday--enough to set Mr. Tremoni up for a very long time.

For dinner tonight--garlic lime shrimp over rice, sliced tomatoes, corn on the cob, and cheese ciabata bread. Bruce asked for a repeat tomorrow night.

July 2

I don't know if you remember what you were doing on July 2, 2006, but I do. It was not nearly as much fun as today was. I was on my second day of a seven day hospital stay. MRIs, CTs, and blood work to be exact. Not to mention an infiltrating IV that left my arm swollen to about twice it's size. Enough of that; I'm just grateful to be here writing this blog.

Matt has helped me once again. He arrived safely back in London less than 24 hours after the Glasgow incident. You may remember that I was planning to send in four images to a calendar contest thus I made a web album for Matt to critique. He was kind enough to explain different settings on my camera I could tweak to improve the crispness, and exposures. I headed straight out to give it a whirl. The day started overcast which is kinda good as the sun is so bright these days, and in fact, it did show up. Fortunately I had taken some before it became too hard to work with.

I delivered the framed photos to the doctor's office. Mind you, these are not my images but maybe next time. I'd like to develop a relationship with the framer because they are about 1 mile away--perfect!

I spent some time cleaning up the yard, and pool, after yesterday's massive rainstorm--nothing like Kansas, but, pretty wild. The fact of the matter is that it is fixing to do the very same thing as I type; we sorely need the rain. Fortunately we are getting much quicker on our take-down at the market arriving home easily to beat the rain. Only two sales yesterday, one of which was my largest piece ever; all in all, not a bad day. I did plenty of chatting with whomever came by. This one lady says to me--"So, you take pictures of things, and then sell them?" "Yes ma'am, I do." One thing I noticed yesterday--one of the women from every lesbian couple I chatted with had a hickie. I really thought that was a teenage thing--shows you what I know.

My sweet flickr friend Paige was kind enough to e-mail me with interview advice. She works for Health Canada; interviewing is part of her job. I will try to follow her instructions--I imagine it will be hard for me to not talk too much, but I'm going to try.

Limping Along