Monday, April 28, 2008


Now Hans can tell Scott what he should have done with Laci's body while enjoying his new life as the bitch of an angry 300lb cell mate.

I admit, I was surprised. I doubted the jury would come through and convict him, but I was giddy when I heard the news this afternoon.

The radio was on where I was working and when they announced the verdict I said "Oh my god, they did it." The agent came out from the back of the house and asked "What?" I told her, not sure how giddy I should be, if at all, and then she smiled and said "That's good news." I smiled back and we went back to work.

Watch out for yer cornhole, bud.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Bad Marketing

I drove by a store today called "Heller's For Children." Maybe the owner's name is Heller, but why not "Heller's Store for Kids," or "Heller's Children's Store," or pretty much any combination of words that don't sound just like "Hell is for Children."

Now I can't get that song out of my head and I have to wonder if the store name makes parents feel like they shouldn't shop there.

Today David told me about a restaurant in his neighborhood called "Cumin," except the colors they used in the sign make it look like "Cum In." Yum.

Here's a shout out to a group of high school kids who haven't yet learned that the big red hand at the stoplight means keep your ass on the curb while the cars drive by.

When you see the big red hand, that means stop, as in don't walk out into the street where the big rolling metal boxes will mow your stupid ass down, though if they do, the gene pool is that much better off.

I have *got* to start drinking decaf once in a while.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

4/20, Heh heh

I giggled when I realized today's date. Because I have the sense of humor of a 7th-grader. So, do all the pot heads meet up in the Haight for an all-day celebration?

I spent a luxurious day on the couch watching movies and didn't drive anywhere or attend any baby showers in bars or sit in traffic or do anything I didn't want/have to do. I guess that's an appropriate way to celebrate 4/20.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Widows & Rattlesnakes

Yesterday I photographed a little country estate in Kenwood, and to prep a particular shot I began to move a garden hose off the driveway into the hedges. As I moved the hose the agent casually called to me from across the yard, "Watch out for rattlesnakes."

I sprang away from the hose and asked "Are you shitting me?" and she said No, that rattlers like to hang out around water and will sometimes curl up in the hose. Damn - good to know. I need a special training class with this sort of information.

Later, while photographing the pool, I opened up two patio umbrellas, carefully watching the ground all around the pool for snake-like shapes, feeling very under-dressed in regular, non-Kevlar pants and shoes. A Kevlar jumpsuit, really, is what I should have handy.

I finished the shoot and went to close up the umbrellas. While closing the second one, I noticed what appeared to be a large-ish black widow hanging out in the folds of the fabric.

Alrighty - that's enough umbrella time. I grabbed my shit and ran off that patio, high-stepping over a well-manicured lawn with a horrendous case of the heebie jeebies. What might be waiting for me in my car, a scorpion? A wasps' nest?

We may not have beautiful, wide open country vistas out of every window or a Chanel-like pool in the backyard, but at least I don't have to worry about grabbing a rattle snake when I water the plants, and I think that's wonderful.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Stupid in a Can

There was some serious stupid on the roads today. A jackass in Napa, upset that he ended up behind a truck on a two-lane road, felt it necessary to flip off the truck driver once he managed to get around it. Nice.

Later, I was cruising down Highway 12 when a TOTAL dumbshit turned onto the highway directly in front of me. It wasn't a blind turn - it was a wide open side road joining the highway.

He drifted right into the lane of traffic, totally unaware that he was merging onto a major thoroughfare, though "merging" isn't the best word - it was more like a giant dump thrown onto the road.

In that moment I clearly understood the rage of the road. Not only was it incredibly rude and inconsiderate, it was dangerous. Someone with slower reflexes (or bad brakes) would have slammed right into his lame ass and sent him and his equally blind passenger to the ER.

Then, THEN - at the ONLY passing lane there is on that stretch of road, he friggin camped in the left lane and made it impossible to pass him - because a capable driver in front of him had already moved into the right lane, leaving no space to maneuver around him on the right. AND HE WASN'T PASSING ANYONE!!!

Omigod, if only I'd had a rotten egg-shooting bazooka, that Hyundai would have been slathered in stinky egg carcasses. Seriously - someone please make me a rotten egg-shooting bazooka.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Not the Only Flame in Town

I know this will sound mean, but I loved how Gavin & Co. tricked the tricksters and left a crowd of lemmings in the lurch at Justin Herman Plaza.

Not that I begrudge anyone wanting to enjoy a historical event / protest / demonstration / sore feet, but did they actually think they'd be able to get anywhere near it after what went on in London and Paris?

Gavin said many times that the route would likely change at any time, so that seems like even more reason to not to count on seeing it.

I watched the coverage on live TV - loved the aerial tour of SF - and when word got out at the Plaza that the ceremony was canceled, a few people interviewed whined about how they'd been there for 9 hours waiting to see the torch.

Nine hours. Nine. Hours. One woman complained that she'd come into the city with her family and now they were going to go home. ??? You can't think of anything else to do in the city with your family?

First, you're with your whole family - that seems like a nice thing. Second, so what if you didn't get to see the torch - go have dinner somewhere. Walk around the Embarcadero. Go shopping at the Ferry Building. Take Bart to Union Square or go see a movie! What a lame ass!

Another woman said she "deserved" to see the torch because she'd waited all day. No one told Heather Fong about this chosen woman at the Plaza. I'm sure had she known, she'd have stuck with the original course.

All the disappointed folks can thank the idiots who thought it was a good idea to lie down in front of a bus. Oh, and you can also thank the city supervisor who thought it was a good idea to LEAD some protesters directly into the route - nice work, asshole.

The protesting is stupid. There's no excuse for what's going on in Tibet, but we're the last country to be telling anyone else how to treat other countries. And stunts that stop traffic or shut down city streets really just piss everyone off and make them totally unsympathetic to your cause.

Want to make a statement? Don't buy or use anything that comes from China. Don't buy China-made clutter peddled at Walfart and other stores. Though that's pocket change compared to the billions they have invested in US companies.

If you're serious, boycott companies with Chinese investment. Barrage your elected officials with letters and emails. Organize peaceful, non-disruptive events to get the word out. Don't ruin events meant to celebrate international competition between athletes who might only get that chance once in a lifetime.

And if you're in the city on a beautiful day, don't complain.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

My First Tarot

Sounds like the next great Fisher Price toy for kids, doesn't it?

Yesterday I cruised through Happy Trails looking for something fun to send my niece for her birthday, and as I passed a shelf full of goodies I saw the Tarot deck and like an impulsive freak thought, I need this... and grabbed them.

Why? I've no idea. I've never been into this before, but I have had one reading, about a year ago, and it was fun. Yesterday the cards called to me and perhaps I'll soon expand my business to include readings.

The deck came with a fold-out chart that looks like a place mat that shows you how to lay them out and the influences of each card's position. Then there's another paper that explains - very briefly - what each card means. That was useless, so I had to go online for better info.

I think you have to have a single question in mind, like What's going to happen to my hair? or Will I continue to be gainfully employed? I chose the latter, shuffled the cards according to the instructions and went to work.

This is what they told me:
Card 1 - The Knight of Wands. Knights are the spirit of the teenager - all about changes (which explains the annoying hormonal fluctuations). Knights are never still and suggest movement, travel. The Wands represent an exciting trip and likely a long one to an exciting place, likely by motorcycle, car, bus or train. In the first position, it's influencing the atmosphere surrounding the matter in question. I guess that's true. I want to visit David in the UK for at least a week, maybe longer, but I'm not sure I can and still have work when I get back.

Card 2 - The Hierophant. In the second position it reveals or assists the obstacles facing me. Reveals or assists. So, does that mean it shows the obstacles more clearly, or it *assists* them in making them greater obstacles? According to the website reference, this guy is a sage advisor who reminds me that I have the answers to my problems and can solve them, even if it seems daunting. OK, that's true - I do have the answers - I'm good with that.

Card 3 - the Page of Wands. This one represents a message I might receive, possibly from afar about a trip or career change (or a few other things). Now, in the third position, supposedly it means the aim or most practical goal I can achieve or avoid under the circumstances. That totally clears it up. If my question is Will I remain gainfully employed?, the goal I can achieve or avoid under the present circumstances is taking a trip (or not), or making a career move (or not). It's true that I would be OK with a career move - an evolution of sorts - and it's true that there is an impending trip on the horizon, but I'm ambivalent about going. I worry about the kids, and I'm not sure if I can be gone - offline & totally unavailable - for a whole week when I have no backup resources. It's a pickle.

Card 4 brings us the King of Swords - a professional man (that's what it says on the card). According to the website reference, this represents tossing out a new idea, getting thoughts on paper, brainstorming. The ability to see problems objectively and find new and better solutions. According to the place mat, its position represents the foundation upon which the present circumstances are based - the causes. So my current situation stems from a professional man's ideas? Or I need to get my ideas solidified so I can move forward? No idea about this one. Maybe it just means that I'm a true professional and that's my foundation for all pursuits. Yeah, let's go with that for now.

Card 5 is II of Cups - Favorable for business & pleasure. The website says it's recognition of love, of a friend or soul mate. It predicts that you will find someone who 'knows' you, and you, in turn, will 'know' them. It is a very Romeo & Juliet card. So, there is the direction for that swelling of emotion within me, toward this other person. And the place mat says its position represents the immediate past or the influences that *were* present, but are now passing. Oy. That doesn't seem good. But that can happen when your husband works overseas for a number of months, right?

Card 6 - II of Pentacles, which apparently means I'm a juggler and the influence that will operate in the near future - forces that are becoming influential. According to the website, I'm an instinctively adept juggler, though one can't juggle everything forever. Keep at it and relief is on its way. That sounds good. It's not so much the juggling I mind, it's the dropping.

Card 7 is The Fool - with obvious connotations. But it also represents a new start. I might be about to make a move - to a new home, job or new life. More than just change, it's a brand new beginning with "movement" - a fresh, exciting new time. In the 7th position, this represents me, the questioner, and shows my attitude - carefree, a day dreamer, and no idea what all the future could hold. That's actually right on the money, in many ways.

Card 8 brings us VIII - Eights - how coincidental - of Pentacles. A card about strength, courage, movement, taking action and transformation. This Eight means I'm an apprentice - starting over, doing something new, or perhaps just expanding (thankfully not physically). In the eighth position, it represents my present environment - my position in life - and I have to admit, that's true. The real estate photography absolutely feels like an apprenticeship - I'm brand new to it, learning as I go, and have a long way to go before I master the trade. Other things are in the works as well, so this one also seems to fit. (ooooh!)

Second to last - Card 9 - we have a Four of Pentacles (lots of pentacles all up in my business). Fours represent stability, being rooted, established. It can also be something that refuses to budge, like my legs when I don't want to go for a run. The Pentacles is a card about holding tight to what I have, being in a position of status, health, money and comfort - solid and unchanging, and afraid of losing what I have. That's true - after leaving behind a giant, bi-weekly direct-deposit salary to start a new career that only pays me when a job comes in - I definitely worry about the jobs drying up and going back to Ramen Night - all week. And in the 9th position, it represents my fears, hopes or predictions. The card also says to relax, worry less - nothing will be lost and focus instead on making the best of what I have and enjoy it while I'm here. OK!

Finally, in 10th place, we have the Ace of Swords (saw-words). Aces are the root force, the spark, filled with raw potential (hey thanks!). Swords represent east or Spring - the mind awakening for new challenges, usually indicating that the person's mind is feeling sharper/clearer. They (I) want to talk, discuss or write (true). And in the last position, it represents the final outcome - the culmination of all the influences (cards) shown. Huh.

Silly as it sounds, all of this fits to a large degree. But I wonder if all readings would apply in some way - they're all just general enough to work, though some are confusing and leaves a great deal to interpretation. That said, give me a call if you want a reading!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Huddled 'Round the Furnace

It's just like camping, but better - inside a house that has actual, not zippered doors, a full kitchen and indoor plumbing just down the hall.

This morning I got so chilled, I sat on an ottoman next to the floor furnace and grilled my feet on top of it. They're now perfectly par-cooked and ready to be ordered.

Once my feet get cold, I can only get warm from a 30-minute boiling-hot shower or feet grilling. Somehow my thyroid slid down my neck and has lodged in one of my heels.

It felt so good to have my feet warm, I put on thick socks and propped my Uggs upside down on top of the heater so they could be pre-heated, then I continued to cook my feet inside their socks. Holy crap that felt amazing.

When my feet finally felt cooked through, I put on my pre-heated boots and BLAM - I was all warm again.

If you read this post before and notice that now something is different - I won't lie. I moved a comma. And I removed the rant that followed in this space. While fun at the time, it wasn't something that should remain for the long term. You know, it's just one of those things - you're really bugged at the time, but it's minuscule in the big scheme of things. And I don't want to upset anyone. I like to vent. Who doesn't?

Saturday, April 05, 2008

America's Psychic Challenge

And they all knew who would end up winning, right? I caught the last of this show where four psychics (out of an original pool of 12 or 16) compete in psychic challenges for points and the two with the most points go on to the final show down for fabulous cash & prizes.

One of the four seemed like a bit of a poser - she kinda stumbled through the challenges, but kept a serious, determined look on her face like she'd soon knock one out of the park and win the round.

At the end, the host recapped the challenges and told them how they did - what they got right & what they missed, and based on the points they earned for each challenge, which two would be going on to the final round.

The poser came in last - natch - and is out of the running, and in the final "confessional," she actually said - I'm totally not making this up, "I'm disappointed, but I'm not surprised - psychically, I knew that."

Friday, April 04, 2008

Soft Hardwood

Today I photographed a beautiful home - couldn't have been more than a few years old - all the materials (appliances, floors, fixtures) looked brand new and super high quality.

Sometimes the homeowner or agent (or a polite sign at the door) will ask me to remove my shoes, which is fine - when in Rome - but if there's no sign and no one asks, I use the heck out of the welcome mat and remain shod and no one bats an eye.

I generally wear nice shoes that haven't stamped out flaming bags of poo. And I just feel more comfortable working in my shoes - maybe because I'm working, not about to curl up on the couch and watch a movie, and I'm in someone else's house. I don't want their floor yuck on my socks.

Not only that, but aren't floors supposed to be able to withstand shoes? I mean, unless you're wearing track spikes or the flooring material is cheddar cheese, any standard floor should stand up well against typical shoes. But I digress. It's no big deal, so I go with the flow.

Today I kept my shoes on, though I did notice there were a couple of pairs of shoes near the front door. Call me sneaky, but I cruised right by them and got to work at the other end of a long hallway.

As I was getting ready to shoot, I could hear the unshod ones talking about moving their shoes out of the way so they wouldn't be in the shot, and while talking about having removed their shoes I heard, "These hardwood floors are really soft."

[Scooby Doo noise] The hard wood is soft? So these are softwood floors? Is that a new trend in modern home construction? Is that because we're all so sedentary now that our joints can't take the pounding of walking on hardwood floors? I'm confused.

Aside from not-so-soft hardwoods, in these neighborhoods there's even less reason to remove one's shoes, because there isn't a speck of dirt on any of the streets or sidewalks. There's nothing you could track into one of these homes. An army elves keep these neighborhoods absolutely spotless. It's like walking through Disneyland - sparkling clean.

If we were in the Tenderloin or the Mission, then it would make perfect sense. You could easily track syphilis and hepatitis into a home in those areas. On any sidewalk you can choose from gum, trash, used condoms, needles and sometimes human excrement, to name a few.

Maybe that's why I like to keep my shoes on. After many years of city livin', the thought of removing my shoes is never first on my mind, no matter where I am, and I'm still careful about where I wear open-toed shoes.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Special Wedding Panties

The other night I found a show on the other chick channel, WE tv, called High School Confidential. Kind of a documentary, it follows several girls through all four years of high school in a small Kansas town.

I thought it was interesting, so I kept watching. The commercial breaks were typical - ads for winged pads and birth control pills that cure cancer *and* battle acne - easy stuff to ignore.

Then there was a commercial that seemed like any other smarmy, hallmarky chick ad about something special for women, showing what appeared to be an older mother person and her two grown daughters, one of which was preparing for her wedding.

The clever camera angles and editing made it appear like one of the daughters was preparing for her wedding and talked about something special that would make the day perfect. Then BLAM - the focus shifted to the older mom - it was her wedding - and a giant pair of DEPENDS appeared in the upper corner of the frame.

I was not ready for that. Do older women really wear Depends on their wedding days? Wouldn't they make noise when walking down the aisle? Is that really the best way to sell the convenience of being able to pee your pants at any time?