Holiday gift giving just isnt what it used to be. Mostly because they have our cash hijacked once we spend it… Even if it is a gift!

itunes gift card

itunes gift card (Photo credit: 401(K) 2012)

 

I was having a conversation tonight with a couple of friends about gifts and gift cards as well as exchanges and returns.  After about 5 minutes of discussing the gift card industry and things associated with it (Specifically a gift card i received for christmas early this year.  This was a gift card that came with a gift receipt.)   We started to realize that there was Zero, 0, Zilch. Non, Nada reason for one to be included with the card.

Then we started to realize that with the implementation of Gift Receipts, even if paid for with cash, one can ever only get store credit or an exchange.  With the gift receipt we can never prove that cash was spent on the item because they so graciously leave off form of payment so they can force you to contain the money within their company or store.

Once a gift card is purchased, the money has to go to the store.  You can not change your mind and get any kind of refund anymore.  People used to pay with checks and if you wanted to return something, and you paid by check, they would return to you cash.  Since checks are practically antiquated, the only way to get your money back is to have the original receipt and within that first 7 days, you can free your money in what ever form that you chose to pay with.

Then we started to think about how many BILLION$ and BILLION$ of dollar$ that are floating out there in our wallets, our pockets, the dumpster, the sidewalk, the cushions of the couch etc.  with a small remainder of credit on that very gift card that will NEVER be used.  Just think about the amount of money that is generated on that odd remainder!  That is technically our money still.  But it is already with the company so they really are making a double double double profit.  Profit from the initial gift card purchase and then the mark ups when spent on the items and then the unspent remainder.  All benefiting the company and the company alone.

I remember years back when we didnt like something that we got, we could go back with the tags in place within the seven days and we could get some money.  Nordstrom did this for MANY MANY years to many returners (and scammers) appreciation.

Now i think about how much money is going one way never to be able to come back if it is something we dont want these days.

Now I  can definitely see the benefit of these gift card trading (buy and sell) sites as well as places like ebay and amazon to be able to resell your brand new perfectly unused unwanted item to retrieve some cash said item.

All in all, they are fleecing us dry by the looks of it in a lot of ways, that are less obvious than higher interest rates and inflation.  There are the fees and the 1 way money flow… out of our pockets & into theirs.  It is pretty scandalous and we dont even see it or realize it happening or at least the bigger impact of what these policies truly mean for them stealing our money.

So on this year of gift giving… Do your loved ones a favor… Just give them CASH for godsake!  It is a different time than it used to be.  It is no longer seen as lazy or tacky to give cash.  It is only what we work our whole lives for!  Cash=freedom so you are actually giving them the feeling of freedom when cash is given!

People are not judged by how much they spend, but on what they spend. Give your loved one the right to chose where that hard earned money should be spent.  That way, A. the change stays with them and B. they will have a receipt showing that they paid cash incase they change their mind when they get home.  The bottom line is you are at least giving the windfall to the one you are giving to and not some financial corporation for them to take over the free world with!

Plus.. Cash is pretty!

Its Holiday Season again… Does it make you warm and mushy or give you the icky feelings of dread?

 

 

Xmas Tree

Xmas Tree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is also not a time in my life that i can falter at all.  This is what all that hard work and preparedness was getting me ready for.  The massive travel back and forth week at a time to get to my dads with bittersweet feelings…  thankful that i CAN be there,  that i have the time and that he is not all the way across or out of the country.  I remember when my dad was in this mode with his aunt (like a mom).  He had to drive up at least every other day from the south bay to San francisco to see her.  Even thought my parents were separated, we (or just my brother and i or just me)  would go up every or every other week.  It was exhausting.  It was stressful.  It was emotional.  It was wonderful to have been given that last bit of extra time!

 

When her time finally came, the feeling was different than i thought it would be for me.  I dont know about how my dad felt, but I had felt this really big empty spot.  A lot more empty and lonely than i would have thought in sort of a different way than i had thought.

 

We had this 2 bdrm apt. to completely go through, get appraisers out, call insurances etc as well as meeting with the lawyers and accountants.  I kept feeling like one did when they were at camp for a week and it is finally time to go home.  You are the last one to be picked up and the place feels SO empty to you.  You feel more alone in that several hours  than i think we feel most of our lives.  Leaving camp was ALWAYS a tough thing for me.  Kind of like leaving my little cat Arthur when i have to leave every time now.  Separation anxiety!  Panic.  Pure panic.

 

This year with the holidays here, its needless to say that they were very important to me.   That since my dad’s real failing health this last month i really just wanted to be with family.  It is probably going to be the last year that my whole family will be here on earth so (aside from the potential apocalypse) this year holdays are especially poignant to me and somewhat surreal.

 

I know (as i have done many many times) that this will be one of those times that i will remember when looking back form the future.  I can see history happening right before my own eyes can see it.  I can sense it.   I can feel the page starting to turn and the chapter is about to change.  I think it is one of those things that mark a major growth and changing of eras.

 

Usually music, which may have not been integrated into my life hardly at all over the last so many months, now comes on full time (not even any news or chanel 9!  No tv!  I would rather use the Roku box to play Pandora than watch tv.  And just a couple months ago, tv was my way of relaxing at the end of the day.  Now i just cant stay focused on just one thing for that much time. Music you can hear while typing or packing or eating or drying ones hair.

 

Not only that, but a whole new grouping of music is starting to mark this period of time like a big memory timestamp.  They (the songs) (wether i want them to or not!) are becoming the soundtrack for this new period of time.

 

The things i do and the way i feel and the things i see right now are going into a more permanent place in my brain banks because it is so filled with upcoming change and surrounded by such thick emotion.  I can feel myself change.  I know that pretty soon, i will never be the person i used to be.

 

For all of you “grown ups” out there, you are probably thinking to yourself… “that is called growing up”…. I know this, it still feels just a bit strange when you feel it starting to happen but you are still the same person.  It is like the forces of change are moving into your soul to make that change in accordance.

 

Some of these changes include the obvious ones like my dad and his delicate health scenario as well as all of the travel associated with it.  There is also some cracks within my family that have been revealed recently that could be game changers for the closeness we have (possibly falsely) believed we had.  It will be interesting thing to see what happens.  It may be one of those times a child must define themselves as a full grown adult to others around them even if they will always be younger or the child or whatever.  At 38, one is a full grown adult and i believe old enough for others to be able to have decided wether or not they are a quality and competent as a person or not.  The role of the parent or older sibling is the job with all of the power and control who usually desperately tries to hold onto that same level of power and control even with fully grown kids/sisters or brothers.  Who would want to give up something they have taken a lifetime building?

 

But everyone deserves to feel like a grown up when they are deeply into their grown ups!  If they do not, it is simply because either A. the family has enabled them or B. because the family undermines their self esteem making them question themselves throughout their whole lives.  If the people that raised you dont believe in you and you have a lot of respect for them, then it usually ends up not so well for the child.  That undermining self-esteem can sit in the back of your head haunting all of your wishes in life.  It is hard.  Even when you believe in you, when the ones you love do not, it is a heavy blow that never seems to be able to be shaken off the back.

 

Self esteem can make or break a perfectly great person.  And usually it is the soul crushing that comes from within the family or those that we look up to.  They have a lot of lasting damaging power over us that they often like to turn back around and blame back on us.

 

These are some of the things that happen to adjust the power structure when children become adults.  The adults sometimes forget that they only get so long to do their raising and then, it is time to stand back and see if they were a good teacher or not.  If they (the child) starts making poor choices, you as a parent do not get the option to jump back in and continue to raise them some more.  If the child fails at making good decisions, that could possibly mean that YOU failed as a parent in your raising.  That is your own work that you are seeing them using to survive.  Most of the time though, the family only sees a part of what the whole story is.  They have no idea how we are to really use our time and solve problems and set goals.  Jeez… they dont even usually bother to ask us if we even have any goals or plans to improve our futures.  Do they just assume that we just sit around whining and picking our noses?

 

I just know that the holidays are wonderful and yet so stressful and can be so depressing at the same time.  They are wonderful if you have a great loving family or family of friends to surround yourself with, but can be easily as equally depressing if you do not have anyone, just lost someone or are not getting along well with the people you care about at the time.

 

For you all, i truly hope that you have a low stress winter holiday season and are surrounded by the love that every human being deserves.  I hope you take the time to appreciate that this moment is here… because it WILL change.  That is guaranteed.  The thing is that we just dont expect to change soon.  What i have found is that change can happen in the blink of an eye.  So now is the time to live in the moment and appreciate that the hands of change have not moved any of the ones you love out of your lives yet.  Enjoy each other.  After all, we may not even make it to Christmas if the end of the world comes on Dec 21, 2012!

 

 

 

:)

 

 

Guess What? Its our birthday and we are 1 years old! Happy anniversary blog*!*!*

HAPPY 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!

I can not believe 365 whole days have passed since the day that i decided to start this blog.  I have to thank my dear Bernalwood.wordpress.com and Curbed.com for leading me into the brilliant and hilarious and informative creative genius that inspired me to begin this art experiment.

When i started this blog, it did not have a real direction or purpose. (I dont know if it has a purpose now other than it being my current creative outlet and a very satisfying activity to be able to exercise my right to my own free speech without being sensored in any way (for now!).

I have always been a talker.  I think it is genetic because my mom is a BIG talker and even was a politician so i think it naturally runs in the blood.  But i also like to talk and always seem to have an opinion.  I am not trying to push my beliefs onto you, but i really do like the idea of being able to open up a conversation with total strangers that are based all over the world.  You, my beloved blog followers are representing many different parts of the globe.  It just goes to show, that issues that are important to me over here on the west coast of California can be related with in a place on the opposite side of the world.  There is not so much difference or separation as our media and governments and churches would like us to think.

Just for you to get an idea of what you all have helped me to accomplish in this year of my blog…

  • as of 2:58am on Nov. 17 2012, i have received 59,107 individual views on 417 postings. (my goal was 50,000 but dang i wish i had made it to 60,000 so that way i can figure i get about 5000 each month.  Now it is 4??? a month and i suck at math so i just dont do it. :)  But 59 thousand is not too bad for a  little girl who just babbles online!  Thank you!

Now, i would like to share some of the things that have occurred over this past 52 weeks.  A lot has transpired.  Probably no more than any other average year, but this year, i have markers so i can actually really see what has gone down.

We will start with the farewells….  I lost both friend, family and pet this year.  My Grandma passed away along with my friends Big Ben, John Paizon & Lentle.  Our kitty of 16 years; Tiki and our little Beta fish Tyrone passed as well.  However  I have gained a new Beta named Finochio and saved King Arthur from the clutches of death by less than an hour.  He is now my new family and so lovely!

My little baby Arthur!

I had 2 reunions, a family reunion and a 20 year High School reunion that both were great!

I have begun a daily intense exercise program and cleaned up my diet a bit (less sugar and trying to avoid fried at all costs!  Why then i ask is the fried food the tastiest food?)

I rode the farthest on a bicycle in SF ever (around 30 miles) in one night for the 20 year anniversary of Critical Mass.   As well as attended the 20 year anniversary of my friends awesome party by Wicked Sound Systems (yes… i used to be into early 90′s San Francisco house music scene and it was INCREDIBLE!!).

I also used for the first time and then again 2 more times (totaling 3x) , rideshares.  I really had a good experience with all three in fact and would highly recommend anyone trying it as a cheap, and environmentally friendly way to travel without having to deal with airport security!  Plus, you get to talk to people you may never meet otherwise.  I have enjoyed the ride sharing experience a lot and it is nice that there is a mode of transportation that actually has positive connotations associated with it.

The San Francisco Giants won the World Series and we found out that we are losing the SF 49ers to Santa Clara (Booo!).

I also cleared up some of my credit.

Not too bad in a single year!

But… Now for the most important message of my anniversary blog… My thanks to you, my readers.  You make writing for you so special to me.  I absolutely love that you feel comfortable leaving your comments as well as share some things about yourselves in those comments.  I love that we have an international conversation here even though one would never know it just by reading what you wrote.  I basically love you all, my blog followers and readers.  You make this oh so worth while.

While i would like to say that it doesnt matter if anyone is reading what i am posting, it makes it so much more, more… well… EVERYTHING to have you here along for this journey with me.

You all are my originals.  The first to be a part of my blog experience.  This i find very special and cool and i thank each and every one of you that took the time out of your life to share in what i have to share with you let alone leave feedback.  You all have made this first year of my blog an incredible experience and i am really looking forward to seeing what is going to be on topic for the next year.

So, in short… WE DID IT!! HAPPY 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY EVERYBODY!!  And from the bottom of my heart… THANK YOU!!

our SF Giants are truly our Halloween super stars and the MLB World Series Champions in a complete sweep! GO GIANTS!!

SF Giants 2012 World Series Champions!

Today i wake up the fan of the 2012 World Series Champions in sweet San Francisco.  When we won in 2010, the city was electric.  We had waited over 50 years to win the championship and it was the first win since their move out of New York.  We had waited DECADES for that win and for those of us that have been lifetime Giants fans from the days when their record was not so strong and you had to freeze your behind off while paying $16 for bleacher seats at Candlestick Park to the super plush brand new winning record playing at SBC Park, the win was long overdue so, needless to say, that was very exciting!

However, here we are in 2012.  Just 3 seasons apart so the buzz of the 2010 win was still fresh and on (at least my) mind still.  Felt like it just happened yesterday.  But then i remember that last season, we lost Buster Posey to an injury early on in the season and we had not acquired several of our teams outstanding players yet to bring us to today… The perfect team.  The team of winning misfits.  I feel a little bit like the Giants represent what San Francisco used to be like more than it seems to be like today with their oddball characters and support through the diversity.

A well deserved moment of victory between Buster Posey and Sergio Romo.

Today, EVEN without Brian Wilson as one of our secret (not so) weapons, our San Francisco Giants 2012 postseason team may be the most epic eclectic group of talent that exists in baseball today.  From our MVP and one of the fan proclaimed mascots of our Panda (Pablo Sandoval), to Marco Scutero’s coming on strong when we needed him to and , of course the most epic all around player and maybe the league’s best catcher they’ve ever had Buster Posey, to the super intense Angel Pagan and super fast Gregor Blanco, to our new oddball and inspirational addition to our team Hunter Pence, and our local boy Brandon Crawford, …to our amazing pitching staff.  Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner, Adfelt, Voglesong, the VERY deserving Barry Zito and the most awesome Wilson replacement closer Sergio Romo.  (Maybe it was the power of those dimples that made each close like lightning).  Regardless it was the perfect storm of come behind kids to world champ sweepers.

It is interesting that the Detroit Lions swept the NY Yankees and then we swept Detroit.  We were on a roll that no one could stop.  We fixed our glitch of being able to win post season at home and we were able to hold off any chance the Lions had of catching up by playing such tight baseball.

It was such an exciting post season, from the come from behind win with the Reds to the absolute tromping of Detroit, it was definitely the fan’s dream season.  It should be an AMAZING team next year with Wilson back on the roster and Milkey out of restriction.  I personally can not wait to watch.

Mattresses set on fire on Mission Street

I know this type of win often leads to mass hysteria and sometimes self destruction of their own winning city.  I never understood why this extreme happiness ends up in vandalism and destruction of their own city.  But, that is of course, what happened last night in the Mission.  Mattresses were set on fire (again!), city streets were flooded with people and shut down, and i even heard that they had a bus in SOMA that had a single passenger inside, where people had surrounded it and were on the roof jumping up and down and people around it pushing it from side to side.  It must have been utterly terrifying!  Why would we do this to another possible Giants fan and at least a SF visitor or resident?  We vandalized our small businesses and generally trashed our city.  So i guess there are a lot of rebel idiots left in San Francisco unless they (probably) came in as a bridge and tunnelers.  That would make more sense for outsiders to get wasted and trash NOT their city.  Regardless, i wish the citizens and fans in SF could try and show as much class and grace as our players and manager Bruce Bochy always do.  We need to work a little bit harder to show the same level of class as the team that incited that reaction in the future if you ask me.

vandalism on Mission St.

That is what i love and have always loved about our SF teams (both the 9ers and the Giants.  (We will see how the 9ers fair after their dodgy steal to Santa Clara and all their new big revenue increases in our boring but rich and jealous neighbors to the south.)

And, i have to give big props to the Detroit Tigers who put on a good series even though they never were able to get a footing.  Their GM interviewed after the loss spoke with more generosity, humility and class to the point that i felt that we were playing the right team.  Both teams were and are class acts and both deserved to be in the world series.  Detroit although did not win, did play a damn good season and will also be a team to watch again next year.

Regardless, SF Giants pride is brimming here in SF.  We can’t seem to win a World Series  game at home, but we don’t care here in San Francisco!  We await the victory parade which will take place on Halloween morning at 11:00 am.  It sure makes a last minute  Halloween costume of being a giants fan an easy one! ;) (We could just say that we came strait from the parade.)  However, i have a feeling that because these two events happen on the same day, we may see a new creative angle on the costumes that will grace our town. (for instance, a friend of mine is planning to be an orange Darth Vader with a SF Giants flag as the cape.  Dont steal the idea SF or i will not share these secrets in the future! ;).

San Francisco City Hall lit in orange in honor of becoming the World Series Champions of 2012! 10,000 people descended upon Civic Center plaza to watch and celebrate the SF Giants final game of 2012.

It will be a SUPER holiday on Wednesday October 31, 2012.  A holiday that is as perfect of a storm as Hurricane Sandy may turn out to be.  Only not in a scary way, but in a joyous and cosmic way, having our Halloween team be honored on Halloween!  We were not always the Halloween team because in 1989, we were in the world series in the middle of October instead of the end of October (remember that day with the battle of the bay that the earth shook?)  We think that the season had to be extended because teams had been added over the years making the season a little bit longer.

Our San Francisco Giants deserve all of the love and honor they have coming to them on Wednesday.  They are a GREAT team!  I personally think the best team we EVER have had.  In part because we are the team of the misfits that came together to create a force that was good enough to win it all.

CONGRATULATIONS SF GIANTS!! YOU HAVE MADE YOUR CITY OH SO PROUD YET AGAIN!  THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS!   We cant wait to see what we can do next year, but now, a well deserved rest i have a feeling is needed.

Until next season…. We are current WORLD CHAMPIONS yet AGAIN!!  WOO HOO! WAY TO GO GIANTS!

I stumbled across this clever art series showcasing “urban architecture gone terribly wrong”

Thank you to Architizer website for allowing me to share their article!

In quite possibly the best illustration of “accidents waiting to happen” ever, German artist Robert Rickhoff has created a new photo series that questions public space in a humorous—and sometimes disturbing—way. See more!

 

Titled “Out of Place,” Rickhoff’s series underscores the importance of architecture and urban planning by presenting impractical and dangerous situations, such as a playground slide facing a road or a speed bump in a railroad track. Don’t worry: these are not real-life scenes (although that certainly would make the images more compelling). Rickhoff digitally manipulates photos from various urban and suburban locales.

At first glance, many of the photos appear to be rather banal. It’s only upon closer inspection that viewers realize something is amiss. Whether they suggest skateboarding in the street or playing volleyball in the center of the Autobahn, Rickhoff’s images depict how idiotic urban design could actually be. We only hope these scenarios don’t actually exist somewhere on this crazy planet!

Images courtesy of Robert Rickhoff

[via designboom]

Supervisors reinstate Mirkarimi, rejecting Lee’s interpretation of official misconduct | SF Politics OH HELL YEA!!!

Supervisors reinstate Mirkarimi, rejecting Lee’s interpretation of official misconduct | SF Politics.

This is the first victory for the old progressive SF since our awful and horrid mayor ED LEE took (stole) office!

See folks.  No matter how much political witch hunting and lies and public pushing of their agenda, the truth still rules the law!  I think greedy Ed Lee fucked himself up by lying on the stand when asked if he tried to talk him into stepping down and he said no because he not only asked Ross, but a couple other sups.  including Aaron Peskin who said he would not lie and take the stand if called.

This is the beginning of the end for our fucked up mayor Ed Lee.  I hope at least.  He deserves to be recalled!  What a waist of tax payer money!!

Are you ready to not want to be having to travel ANYWHERE in the bay this week? Check out everything that has or is happening this week! It is CRAZY!!

Imageo

This week is INSANE in the SF bay area, especially San Francisco!  Check out all of the things that bring us to the busiest, craziest week ever!

  • To start off this week, we entered it on Sunday with a blue moon and the start of a heat wave.
  • Columbus day.
  • Americas cup races in the bay.
  • Fleet week
  • 2 Giants playoff games,
  • 1 49er game.
  • Oracle’s anual “company party” which this year is a private Pearl Jam concert on Treasure Island.
  • Hardly strictly bluegrass festival.
  • Castro street fair.
  • Italian heritage parade in N. Beach.
  • Military exercise on Ocean Beach and Lake Merced.
  • Cloud conference at Moscone Center.
  • Florence & the Machine concert at Shorline Amphitheater.
  • Kevin Hart at the Oracle Arena.
  • New Order at the Fox Theater.
  • Cal vs. UCLA at Cal.
  • Justin Bieber at the Oracle Arena.
  • Joe Jackson at Masonic Hall.
  • Lenard Skynyrd at Mountain Winery.

and…

  • Madonna at HP Pavilion.
  • Oh yeah… cant forget the grand west coast opening of UNIQLO in Union Square.

I think that is enough to make anyone who has to get to any of these things to think twice about getting into that auto and driving.  Sheesh.  it makes me nervous having to leave the house to go to the store!  It is just crazy!  And… once again… It is thanks to our dear shitty Mayor Ed Lee making his backroom deals.  He clearly didnt have his filofax with him at this planning meeting!

It will be anything but dull that is one thing i think anyone can count on!

It has been kind of a strange week of clarity and epiphanies (or at least new theories!)

I think my brain is shifting into trying to understand some things in a new way.  It has been an interesting week for you if you were my brain.

I remember, when i was 26, i was really at a bad place in my life at that time.  I was suffering from SEVERE depression and such severe anxiety, that i had a hard time keeping food and water down and i could not leave the house.  I would sit for days just crying or stressing out so bad that that would make me start crying and getting really despondent.  At this time i had not had any psychological help and i had no idea what was going on or how serious it was.  I knew i was in a seriously bad place, but i did not know how or if i could get out of it.

The reasons i were in it, seemed obvious at first and they were big and easy ones to blame.  And they WERE to blame! But they were not the only thing i had to blame for me to getting to where i was at that point.  (Just so you know what i kinda mean, in a series of a couple years when i was 19, i went through quite a few unfamiliar situations.  Heavy situations.  At 19, i had lived a fairly strict and protected life as a child and had no experience in dealing with things as big as my best friends suicide, a roommate going crazy, evictions, death of grandma which put my dad into a bad depression that became at that time projected onto me.  etc.. Since then, it hasn’t stopped.  I have been through a bevy of unpleasant or unexpected and often life altering situations since then. I feel like I have been through it all (Not all!  Thank god! But unusually strangely large amount of nightmares since my 20′s.  I won’t bore you with more of my sorry ass tales
, but it has been quite an interesting last 2 decades with as many stories to match.)  I think it is to even out my great childhood..  It better be at least!)

Anyway, there was this week when i was 26 years old.  Nothing was better or had happened to trigger it, but i had this one week that i call my week of epiphanies.  I had this amazing brain thing happening where all of a sudden, something that i didn’t even know i was wondering was understood and that actually had a huge impact of relevance  to what i WAS actually thinking i needed to figure out.

It was like, i was so focused on the problems that i was trying to solve, i never even thought about why i had these problems in the first place.  The obvious i had thought was the culprit but strangely, it went way WAY deeper than that.

It happened again in 2008.  All of these questions that i had been mulling through my brain for years were like poof!  solved.  I got it.  I would have never thought of that  being the answer.   And that time, it  turned out that the answer was actually the question!  It was so crazy that week!

The only other thing i can compare it too is those damn 3d posters that i thought were a hoax to try and see how many people they could get to gullibly stare at a boring poster for 45 minutes, until… you see it!  WOAH!  Was that there that whole time?  How can i not have seen it?  It was right there and I SEE IT!!  Amazing!

That is kinda like what i am experiencing this week.  Maybe it is my grandma’s passing, my family reunion, my 38th birthday and my 20 year high school reunion, not to mention ending a relationship.  Maybe my brain is getting some perspective on things and am doing some brain sorting.   Anyway, when i do figure out  what it is that i am now in understanding of, i will try and let you know.  In the mean time, please excuse me if you see a few brain blabbing posts this week.  I know what i now understand, trying to express it in words, well, we will see….!

Epiphanies, bring it on!  I am ready for you! Even if it is not on a 12 year cycle!

:)

Typical walk to go to the store…. Welcome to my neighborhood of Bernal Heights.

I decided that i would take some photo’s of what i see when i walk to the store.  It is about 8-10 blocks away and down a huge hill to get to.  So i take my time when at all possible.

One of the first things i come across upon my descent is one of my more favorite houses… the “red house” as i call it.  It sits on a strange triangular piece of property which makes this house a little unusual.  And totally adorable!

You can see the red house and its strange property shape here by looking straight ahead beyond the bushes and shurbs.  There is a walkway on both sides of the house and i am about to show you the left walkway next.

…shortcut stairs to Virginia Street.

This is the view from the middle of the path on the way down.  Notice our beautiful Mount Sutro lounging in a little fog….


 

 

After going down, one has to come back up.

And this is now where i introduce you to my little park… the Eugenia Steps….  These steps are great because, first, they are wonderfully cared for by a caring neighbor who takes pride in his work (birdie told me that there was nothing but weeds until he had gotten ahold of it.  Now it is really clean and well tended!  Thank you sir!)  We start at the bottom looking up in this first photo

Now we are looking down the steps from closer to the top.  This is probably about 300 ft. rise from the store at the bottom.

…and because we are so far up there now, it affords us some beautiful views and a place to sit and enjoy them! Yea!

…looking west….

looking north towards the mission.

and on to the last little leg of the steps….


and one last departing shot while the branches of the trees swing apart in the wind long enough to get a photo….

I hope you enjoyed my little tour of my route to the store at the bottom of the hill.  It being so beautiful sure helps the pain of walking up almost 400 feet straight up.  Keeps one from needing a thigh master though!

Busted! 45 Mug Shots of Famous Musicians | Loaded | an SFGate.com blog

This is great!  Follow the link to see some unexpected mug shots from the great genre of music!  Thanks SFGate.com.blog!

via Busted! 45 Mug Shots of Famous Musicians | Loaded | an SFGate.com blog.

prince mugshot... the good old days!

In homage to SF's own...

I have noticed since my own Grandma’s passing just how many of us use WordPress to express mourning.

I started my blog, i think around last November.  I was inspired by our AWESOME local Bernalwood.Wordpress.com blog (which is one of the cleverest blog and communities that i have ever come across!) to start my own.  They were on WordPress so i signed up in turn.

It was incredibly easy to get stared.  It was however, a little bit harder to create a cohesive blog.  I did not even think about that when i started it.  I guess i just thought it would be about any and everything that interested me or that I found amusing or outrageous.  This lead to a lot of re-blogging.  I really felt a little like I was cheating by doing more of this than actual writing myself but i did not know in what direction to start these writings.

Then came December 23, 2011

My roommate had a cat named Tiki.  She was the runt, that was not breathing, from the litter from her mother, who was brought in as an alley cat and died shortly after giving birth.  Tiki may not have come into this world without a helping breath from Jason, but once she got here, she was a toughie!

When i moved into the house, Jason was not home very much (like i mean ever!) and the other roommate ended up mostly feeding her .  As soon as i got there, I was it.  I was adopted new mommy. She picked me as her mom and was by my side from that day forward.  She slept with me, she was fed by me, she even went on a short  walk around the block with me.  She was basically mine by then.  But she was also Jason’s because he raised her. We both loved her very very much.

On December 23, 2011, she died.  It was one of them most awful, violent, horrendous experiences I have ever had to witness.  I think i will always be a little bit traumatized from watching her writhe in pain and howl, with blood coming out of her mouth, over about 20 LONG minutes until she finally died.

I was NOT prepared!  I knew she was 19 years old, but to go out in such a painful way….  It was just awful to every sense of the word.

That moment was when it all came together for me.  That was the time that i decided to do my 10 day homage to Tiki, ending on Dec. 31, 2011.  I thought i would be able to grieve and honor her and also start my new year with some closure.  (It also helped that the next day after she died, i rescued Arthur from being put to death by about 2 hours on Christmas Eve.

Since then, i have had 2 friends pass as well as my Grandma.  Maybe i am extra aware of it because it is so fresh, but i really have been noticing how a lot of people use WordPress as a vehicle to pay homage to those that we love, that we lose.

I know for me personally, it has been EXTREMELY cathardic to the point of almost therapy to have had this outlet to use to express all the emotions tied up in that kind of loss.  From what i keep seeing on people’s blogs, I think others have found this too.

It is really cool because not only can you alert people that you have had a loss, but, you can do a tribute to that person so that their death becomes less about you and your greif, and more about the person you lost and their life.

So for this amongst a lot of other things, I thank you WordPress. for creating a forum for all of us to honor those we have loved and lost!

I miss you Grandma, Tiki, Big Ben and Lentle (this is the dec-april 2012 list).  I hope you are in a place with no stress and pain and only positive energy that surounds your spirit!  I am looking up or out or around at you and i hope you are looking down or over or through or however it might work, to see how much the people in your life love and appreciate you.

(I could not do a piece on loss without saying ‘love you little guy’ to my kitty Sasha who passed away in 2007.  Still feels like yesterday

(above: Tiki about 3 months before her death.)

.

(Above: Sasha and Me circa. 2003.)

(above: Family (dad taking picture) circa 1978 with Grandma leading us to our departure gate)

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Turning that ugly table into beauty!

Whoever says that that old little table or dresser needs to be thrown away just because the top is all raggedy and torn up with water rings and missing finish?  In just an afternoon along with…

  1. An outdated datebook with full color images.
  2. An old ugly piece of wooden furniture.
  3. Sand Paper.
  4. Modge Podge.
  5. A paint brush.
  6. A cup of water
  7. And scissors.


The first thing you are going to do is spend an hour or two cutting the date book apart.  Cut out the artwork from the daily calendar.  Cut them clean and in a linear pattern (i used rectangles).

Next, go through your new stack of cut artwork finding the ones that work best together.  I usually go by a color story rather than an image theme, but the choice is yours.

Then you will want to sand the top of the table making sure all lifting sealant has been removed and it is sanded down to be able to have a solid foundation for adhering.

Wipe table free of saw dust.

Starting in a corner, take your Modge Podge and dilute it a little bit with water and apply it to the table.  Also apply the Modge Podge to the back of the artwork.  Lay wet on wet.  Taking your brush with undiluted Modge Podge, paint the top of the piece of art applying from the center out, removing air pockets with the brush as you apply.

Continue until you have all pieces down and top is covered.  Let completely dry.

Apply another coat of Modge Podge over the whole table to seal it.

and… Voila!  You can turn this…

into… this!

Finished table.

Mission Street rapist has been caught!

Thank you to whoever it was that called in the tip that got this monster arrested!  BRAVO!!  I can now breathe a sigh of relief walking around town now.   Police are asking anyone with any further knowledge to please contact SFPD.

http://www.kron4.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=2659