Another day, another holler
Well, maybe this should be titled “another year, another holler“. We just have a few more weeks in 2014 and I am looking forward to making some minor changes to this blog for 2015. For one thing, I have already begun to use the latest photograph series I am working on, here, so there is some comic relief no matter what the topic I happen to be expounding upon.
Sitting here, looking out the office window at my overflowing pool, with frog-green water sliding across the patio as our rare rainstorm beats down on chilly Los Angeles, I am reminded again of how varied every week has been since I embarked on this adventure. Last week it was 85F and bone dry. Life changes, so should this blog.
I think I will split this annual review into two posts, this one about the blog and the next about whatever is transpiring in my life, next week. We are just about to have the onslaught of celebrators visiting or staying and I am still way behind in everything. I spent Cyber Monday ordering like a madwoman. Not because I cared about the discounts, which were nice, but because I hate worrying about everything getting delivered on time. Anything I didn’t order this week is going to be purchased locally.
I always dread mailing packages myself and the prospect of sending them off on a perilous journey, especially since I go to so much trouble to pick each gift. So, I had fun being a deskside shopper this week, letting the vendor worry about how to get things where they are going. Now on to the chore of getting the rest wrapped, under the tree (yup, it’s up, but still covered) and cleaning this house which seems to be a never ending round-robin, like the painting of the Golden Gate bridge.
Back to this blog. What is ahead in 2015? Something for everyone (as its tagline suggests). One big change — no more Post-a’s. In 2013 I tried the Post-a-Day. It wasn’t hard to come up with material, I am a talker. It was just hard to get it all done and then comment on everyone’s blogs before I crashed each night. In 2014, I decided to commit to the Post-a-Week campaign and, I am happy to say, only 3 of the 52 weeks remain and I can feel I stuck to it, occasionally posting twice, but never less than once weekly.
In 2015 I am going to post when I have something to share and not feel I need to take your time when there is nothing worthwhile to tell you. It gives me a certain sense of liberation to come here whenever I want to, instead of being constrained by a self-imposed schedule. I will probably add posts about as often as I did in 2014 because almost every day something amazing happens that prompts me to write about my thoughts, analyses and reactions. Also, I really do like to read your blogs — and that takes time — and to comment only when I have something worthwhile to add. I read a lot of posts without commenting but always “Like” them when I do. One thing is for sure, all of you are people I really like so I tend to enjoy and support your writings and ideas. I don’t follow anyone who I don’t like, and follow a lot of people whose views differ from mine so I can understand other perspectives.
So many topics are already in the works that I am interested in discussing. Such as? Potable water shortages, worldwide and what it will mean for some products we take for granted now; extreme weather due to planetary warming, meaning the wet places are getting wetter and the dry, drier; enlightened self-interest — one of my causes, getting the word out so everyone understands what’s at stake and why it impacts their lives; photography as an art and a therapy; Waldorf Education — I have only scratched the surface here on this exceptional system, which I have studied in depth; being a vegan and loving it — seriously, thriving on it, eating delicious food that is so good for me and, if you knew me, you would know I am and always have been a foodie, especially loving ethnic foods from all over the world, so more on that and how effortless and enjoyable it has been; Downtown Los Angeles, my Manhattan substitute — getting better and better every single day; my newest camera; Annabelle; Mayor DeBlasio and the new New York City.
Oh, and the next chapter in my wedding saga and adventures moving out to LA with the culture shock of Geoffrey’s family and California (even though I had traveled and even lived abroad, I was still in my 20s). I am calling that next chapter The Unymooners, so look forward to that. But beforehand, I have to finish the story about our Unymoon in India — so The Newbie Weds continued — that’s coming up when I feel you need a laugh in a perils of Pauline sort of way.
I also want to talk about the power of girls, something whose time has finally come and why I think so. More about the beautiful Jersey Shore and my life there; my experiences at school in Upstate NY, like our road trip to the Canadian border and Great Lakes and my shock (at 19) at how rural New York State is and its people so countrified — not what I expected. Then I can also recount the hilarious saga of my trips through Europe with my BFF from high school the summer we graduated.
All that said, I am going to try to steer clear of politics as best I can. But just for the record, I think the biggest problem in this country is what Bill Clinton recently referred to as the remaining bigotry: people who disagree with us. There are stereotypes that simply will not die about who we are if we are progressive or so called conservatives. I want you to know that I consider myself a conservative progressive — my own descriptors (notice the lack of caps — that is deliberate because the categories that are referred to by wily politicians and their media toadies do not apply to the world as I see it and not to me).
I don’t know what a “liberal” is, but the stereotype conjures up an unbathed, wanton, loose, anything-goes, hippie who believes in free love, casual abortions, lying around on a shabby couch doing drugs, and giving away all the People’s money to losers and takers. Let’s throw in Godless, reckless and spineless too. Obviously, that description does not apply to me and frankly, I don’t know anyone in that category. No one I grew up with in the Northeast was like that. It is a media caricature. So, I will put up at least one post describing my views on the world so you can see what an actual progressive is all about, not one cooked up to enrage those who don’t do their homework.
But let’s not worry about that here. Let’s make this a year when we look at the world honestly, objectively, empirically and compassionately as well as whimsically, because that approach or window onto life is what seems to me to be the more productive and constructive. We can all agree that it makes more sense to travel around Brooklyn with a map of the Five Boroughs than one of Hong Kong, so my aim is to identify an accurate floorplan, so to speak, of what is happening around me of importance and share it here in as clear a fashion as I can.
And illustrate it with my hodgepodge images. 😀
Images: Beth Byrnes archives, December, 2014: Canon, fisheye lens, Lightroom 5.6 editing and Topaz processing software – all taken in Downtown Los Angeles