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Inside My Petals

Sunflower-1
Macro photo of a sunflower, photographed by yours truly.

I've been very busy lately.

Here's a glimpse of some of what's been going on with me "behind the scenes" lately.

•  One of my girlfriends is moving out of state.  It makes me sad to see her go.  I took her out for a farewell lunch.  I cried saying good-bye to her.  Life is full of way too many good-byes.

•  My son's college roommate recently asked why I had not yet sent back my famous homemade banana bread.  How can someone I barely know make me feel so guilty?  I baked two loaves and got them in the mail yesterday … sheesh!

•  I've been walking a lot.  Walking, and walking, and walking.  My ass has fallen to the ground (who invented gravity?) and I'm trying not to drag it behind me as I go.  If I walk long enough, it clears my head too.  Sometimes we all need a good head-clearing, right?  Why does that last sentence sound sex related?

•  I've been spending as much time as my bum arm will allow on photography.  When I can't shoot, due to pain, I study.  Yes, I'm studying everything I can to improve my skills.  Have I mentioned (four bazillion times) photography is my passion?

•  In case you don't already know, G+ is the place to be for anyone interested in photography.  Where else can you "talk to" and learn from the top photographers in the world?  (And, I'd like to add … the photography community on G+ is NICE.  I can't believe how encouraging everyone has been.  Thomas Hawk even sent me a link to his playlist for photo editing tunes.  Nice guy even if he is absurdly famous.)

•  This is what Los Angeles looks like from the LA Live area at the end of the day:

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Los Angeles

•  This is what Orange County looks like at twilight:

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Twilight in Orange County (Can you see the moon in the sky?  The sun hadn't even set yet.)

•  I got a "medicinal marijuana" license from a well-known weed doctor in Orange County.  It was all I could do not to laugh while I went through this formality.  He was quite serious, and I wanted to giggle the entire time I was there.  (By the way, he told me I probably should also use the Fentanyl patches my pain doc prescribed – but I'm still trying NOT to.)

•  Later that day, I visited a "Medical Marijuana Dispensary."  It happens to be located in the same building complex as The Torturer, my ex-physical therapist.  The irony of this is not lost on me.  I wasn't tempted to giggle while purchasing my medicinal marijuana because the guy selling it to me was.  That's right – he kept giggling.  He was as high as a kite.

•  That night my friend, Nike, texted me and asked, "Well???"  I texted back one word, "Floating!"

•  P.S.  Saturday Night Live is suddenly SO funny.

© Twenty Four At Heart

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Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills

I spent a day in Beverly Hills last week, primarily on Rodeo Drive.

(The sculpture in yesterday's post stands in the middle of Rodeo Drive.  I'm in love with the sculpture, and would take it home with me if I could.  I would name it Naked Pain and put it … I'm not sure where.  Maybe Naked Pain would have to stand in the middle of my kitchen?)

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Rodeo Drive street sign.

I hadn't visited Rodeo Drive in awhile, but little has changed.

Did you know very few locals actually shop on Rodeo Drive?

It's primarily a tourist destination.

Now that summer has ended, it wasn't too busy.

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Rodeo Drive – palm trees and Mercedes Benz.

One of the shopkeepers talked to me for a long time.  She was bored because the bulk of tourists are gone.

Rodeo Drive is charming, pristine, and arrogant about flaunting its materialism.

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The above photo of a Beverly Hills storefront is slightly out of focus.  I was running from a security guard when I took it.

You think I'm joking don't you?

(They are damn serious when they say no cameras allowed!)

I met a French photographer who spoke little English.

He was very handsome, but he creeped me out.

He kept following me.

It isn't uncommon really,

A photographer spots another photographer and thinks,

"If he/she is taking a photo there, then I should too."

Except …

He kept following me, and following me, and following me.

Finally, I told him he was scaring me.

He then tried to have a conversation with me, but it didn't go too smoothly.

Maybe he just wanted American-Woman-Rodeo-Drive sex?

Who can say ….

He didn't speak much English, and I only know about three words of French.

 

Rodeo_Drive_1

Did you know the entire (very famous) area of Rodeo Drive is actually a very small shopping area?

South Orange County is a lot like Rodeo Drive, except on steroids and with a lot less charm.

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The intersection of Wilshire Blvd. and Rodeo Drive.

I apologize Orange County …

But, you know, it's true.

© Twenty Four At Heart

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Counting Sheep

Clouds_2
We had a beautiful sky to gaze at yesterday.

Thank goodness, because it was sort of a shitty week.

Next week has got to be better, right?

© Twenty Four At Heart

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Do You Believe in Fate, Destiny … Magic?

Do you believe things always work out for the best?

Do you believe in fate?

In destiny?

Karma?

Magic?

I realize it's easy and reassuring to say, "Things will work out the way they were meant to be."

But is it true? 

When I was young, I believed all the pieces of life fit together in a gigantic puzzle just the way they were meant to.

Now …?

Not so much.

Bad shit happens.

Gray is the predominant color where black and white used to rule.

Good people frequently suffer.

Bad people often rise to the top.

Not always, of course – but more often than I used to believe.

Is it fate I married my husband?

Whatever happened to Mr. Electric whom I dated just prior to meeting Briefcase?

(And no, he's not on Facebook!) 

Did he become the lousy husband I feared he'd be?

Or someone's Knight in Shining Armor?

Is it fair, or right, when someone with little (or no) talent becomes a success because they've got the "right" connections?

What about the uber-talented person who is never discovered?

And I mean, never ….

Dying without recognition, even posthumously.

What is all that talent about, if not to be shared?

Is it destiny my computer crashed AND my camera memory card went bad in the same week?  (Okay, this might not be a life-shattering situation, but really??)

What happened to the man who drove recklessly through a stop sign and irrevocably changed my life?

Has his life gone forward perfectly, with no thought for the havoc he caused?

Do you ever think back to old lovers and/or old friends and wonder if they were in your life for a reason?

How can certain people have such a big impact, 

And then POOF!

Be gone, out of your life forever ….?

Is it all random chaos?

It's so easy to say people come into your life (and leave) for a reason – but that just might be the best line of bullshit ever.

OK, now it's your turn –

Fate, destiny, whatever you want to call it –

Do you believe in it?

© Twenty Four At Heart

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The Stories Will Be Coming …

Yay – my blog is back!

I think …?

Let me try posting a photo –

LA_Tour-1
Tour bus filled with sunburned tourists in Beverly Hills.

Did it work?

Can you see it?

I spent yesterday cleaning house, where "house" means my laptop and "cleaning" means deleting and moving files.

As you can imagine, I have a lot of photos.  I'm also a music junkie which means more files.  I keep crashing my laptop by attempting to put too much on it.  (Also, it's three years old and the average lifespan of a laptop is two years.  I'm on borrowed time and I think it's tired of me using and abusing it so much.)

I bought, yet another, external hard drive yesterday and spent a good chunk of the day moving files, etc.

If any of you would like to buy me a Drobo, I could really use one.  (A drobo is a file storage device, in case you aren't familiar with it.)

I've had a lot of adventures lately.

For today, I will share the following:

•  When someone hugs you from behind (unaware you're damaged and disabled), they might rip your injured arm right out of your body and leave it on the ground.  At the time, you will do your best not to scream in pain.  You will try to act normal even though the sensation is similar to being shredded alive with knives.  (Not to mention, you no longer have an arm!)  Then you might walk around out of your fucking mind in pain for a few days to follow.  

Hypothetically.

•  If you're interested in photography, and ever have an opportunity to learn from Scott Kelby, you should.  The man is not only a master of his craft, but also highly entertaining.

•  There were models at the photography seminar I went to.  One extremely hot male model was named Alvin.  Yes, ALVIN – like the chipmunk.  He was so drool-worthy, I could forget his chipmunk-y name in a millisecond if only I could  jump his bones  meet him.  (Alvin, who?)

•  Did I just say type that?

•  Alvin took his shirt off, but I hardly remember that part.

•  Venice Beach has medicinal marijuana shops everywhere and they're dirty and sketchy looking.

•  Orange County has a "famous" doctor, located in a very exclusive neighborhood, who will be happy to give you a medical marijuana license for more than twice the cost of the Venice Beach doctors.

•  I've encountered "Hollywood" celebrities my entire life and they mean nothing to me.  Nothing.  On the other hand, when Thomas Hawk marks one of my photos with a + or leaves me a comment saying something positive about a shot I took, it can turn a bad day into a good one.  And when Scott Kelby sends me a private message on Google Plus?  I positively swoon …  

Who knew I was so easy?

© Twenty Four At Heart

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Is It Just Me?

I'm still having technical problems, but I was able to upload this photo from Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

Bulgari
Bulgari store on Rodeo Drive.

Well …??

Is it just me?

© Twenty Four At Heart

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Beverly Hills and L.A. Live and …

I spent most of yesterday in Beverly Hills.

I took photos of Rodeo Drive, etc. to share with you.

At the end of the day, I drove into the heart of Los Angeles to check into a hotel.  I spent the night at the Marriott at L.A. Live. 

The Marriott treated me very nicely, giving me a huge suite.  I'm amazed by it.  (And it's a free room I got from using Briefcase's Marriott points.)  It's decorated in a very modern style.

I took photos from my window to show you the amazing view.

Next, I decided to do a little photo editing.  After all, I had an entire evening alone ahead of me.

But …?

My laptop CRASHED.

I'm sobbing.

(Not really, but sorta.)

I'm managing to eek out this mini-post for you via unconventional means.  

I will be in Los Angeles all day today …

A very, very, long day too.

I'm attending a photography seminar given by Scott Kelby.

(I'm really looking forward to it, but attending means I will be computer-less for yet another day.)

I hope to have a post for you tomorrow, but if I don't – you'll know why.  It might be Wednesday before I'm able to get my hands on a working computer.

What in the world did we do before we had such great technology?  It's hard now to be without it even for a few days ….

© Twenty Four At Heart

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Skimboarding

I'm out of town for a couple days.  I'm not going far, and I'll have details about my adventures for you tomorow or Wednesday (depending on how much writing time I can carve out for myself.)

I've spent a lot of time beach hopping lately, which isn't unusual for me any this time of year.  Most of the tourists are gone, and the weather is great.

I love photographing the beaches, but I also love meeting new people.

This is Austin Keen:

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Austin is a local skimboarder.

I stopped by Aliso Beach last week after having run a few errands.  I wanted to take a couple scenery shots before the sun set.

(No, Austin was not what I had in mind ….)

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Aliso Beach

As I was leaving the beach, I met Austin.

He's very passionate about his sport, and he was happy to let me photograph him for awhile.

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Skimboarder, Austin Keen.

I hadn't planned on shooting any people.  I found myself wishing I had brought my telephoto lens to take photos of the skimboarders in action.

Regardless, I wanted to photograph Austin because he has The California Look.

Austin invited me to come back and get more shots.

He wants everyone to learn more about the sport of skimboarding.  

Do you know what skimboarding is?

Skimboarding is a sport which began here in Orange County.  (Lifeguards in Laguna Beach invented it.)

A skimboard is smaller than a surfboard.  It's dropped on the sand, where's there's a little water from a wave, and then the rider stands on it and glides along the surface of the water.  The skimboarder might skim just along the sand.  More often, the skimboarder rides/skims out into the ocean.  Then he/she rides a wave back to shore, similar to surfing.  

I've tried skimboarding, and it isn't as easy as it looks.  

Surfer_Dude_2
Surfers and skimboarders make for awesome photos.

Next time, I'll get some action shots.

© Twenty Four At Heart