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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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

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29 Comments on “Another day, another holler

  1. Firstly thank you for reading my blog, it is appreciated when a like is given by anyone who takes the time. Your photos are amazing Beth, the colour so vivid, the lines and composition striking. Blogs as lives change so wishing you the best for 2015 and your endeavours.

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  2. Love this! Very much looking forward to all your new insights, stories and adventures in the year to come!

    I’m with you on the whole pressure-to-post thing. I’ve decided that I will post when I have something to say and when I’ve had the time to really figure out how best to say said something. I realized I was getting stressed out feeling the ‘need’ to post something- and I really don’t need to be putting that sort of pressure on myself. xo

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    • Likewise, Cole. You and I are usually in close sync, so I am gratified to know that you are feeling this way as well. Who needs more unforced errors in this wacky world, these days? LOL! ❤

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  3. Beth, I absolutely love these photos. I can see a gallery opening in your future!

    As my series on Paul’s epistles comes to a close, I’m already feeling the pressure to decide what to do next. Random opinions? Another Bible series? Don’t know yet, but it does feel kind of weird that I’ve done that to myself, since I’ve made a commitment to post every Friday. Just have to wait and see where the Spirit leads. I’ll have to think about the “post when I have something to say,” idea. I usually save that for my IMHO category, but maybe the new year is a time to regroup and make some changes.

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    • It is generous of you to appreciate these pictures — I am just stumbling along like Topsy. 😀

      As for your wonderful series, I am in no position to advise you. But, as a Catholic, I remember when some very close friends who are “Christians” — I have always disliked this distinction, because Catholics are Christians! — gave me their favorite Bible (Ryrie), they suggested I start with John, then Proverbs, then Psalms and finish the other Apostles. There is always the Bible in 365 days (you could do the Bible in 52 weeks). Or as Dr. Stanley says, 63 love letters. But I know this has to be coming from your own inspiration and since we have a Helper, I am sure you will come to what is next, brilliantly, as usual. That said, Paul has been a goldmine — I never get enough of his ideas.

      And yours!

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      • First, one of my pet peeves is folks who separate Catholics – Sorry, but whatever your denomination, if you follow Christ, you’re a Christian. ARGH!

        Second, I used to avidly listen to C. Stanley every morning until a few years back (just before Obama’s 2nd election) I heard him go on a Republican rant on the pulpit. I was truly appalled and haven’t been able to listen to him since. I’ve switched to Andy Stanley (his son), who is more to my liking. (Sorry.)

        Third, I hadn’t thought about John or the other apostles. Hmmm, maybe the Spirit just gave me a nudge through you. Thanks! 😀 ❤

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  4. Looking forward to the new blogs and changes to come from you’re blog. I also appreciate when you like or leave a comment for me on my blog to know you took the time to read it means a great deal. So thankyou. 😀

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  5. OH maaaan I can’t believe you mentioned shipping packages in this. I ordered the purse we were emailing about – the seller shipped it the same day and it is now STUCK in a sorting facility in Kearny, NJ. Do a Google search for this facility and you will hear nothing but horror stories about packages being held for weeks, or worse, disappearing. My package was scheduled to show up today but instead, it’s god knows where. No updates on it since reaching Kearny (dubbed “the black hole of shipping” by many eBay sellers). I am supremely bummed. 😦

    I may steal your idea and post a reflection on my blog too. At this time of year I am also pretty busy with school and I don’t have much time for either photography or blogging, so maybe that will tide me over.

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    • Oh no! Honestly, it must be related to my neurosis about shopping in some way, but when I pay for something, I want it yesterday at the latest. I hate having to wait and I become a basket case when something I am sending is late or worse. I just sent Deanna a party dress for Anna that they need tonight and it is still not there, so I am coming unglued. With kids, they can’t wear last year’s stuff and this was a holiday dress. At least with Amazon I jump around until they overnight me whatever it is. There is no explaining where things are routed through these days — it is totally messed up.

      Be my guest, it is time for reflection — at least that is all I feel like doing and now I am realizing there are only three weekends before the chaos … scary…Let me know how things turn out!

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  6. Like you, in January 2015 I intend to revamp my complete concept of blog writing. Why , you ask? Well, I’ve only had a WordPress blog site for a little less than a year. In that year I’ve doubled by people that are following me. Yes that’s right. I now have 4 following me and you happen to be one of the lucky ones…or unlucky ones depending on how you look at it.
    What I’ve learned in this past year is I was writing about everything but myself. After reading hundreds of different blogs I have found that the most successful blogs with the highest readership are blogs that are primarily about the person writing them.
    So this is where I’m headed. “My life” as boring as I perceive it to be, is going to be my main topic.
    Who knows,I may double my followers again. Come on eight
    Have a happy holiday season, and if you don’t mind, “Merry Christmas.”

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    • Rebecca, first of all – thank you, thank you for reading this blog and listening to my ravings. I appreciate your putting up with me. Second, I LOVE your blog. I love your videos, pictures, clever ideas and words. I told you before you are a comedian and could have a stand-up show locally. Seriously, especially up there where there are dozens and dozens of small venues where people do this. Not that you want to, but you could.

      I am looking forward to reading whatever you put up on that blog this year, so if it is about you, so much the better. Even if you just chronicle your typical day, I will be interested in it.

      Merry Christmas is what I say to everyone who isn’t Jewish. To them I say Happy Hanukkah and Merry New Year, LOL! So, right back at you. xo

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  7. There must be something in the air, Beth. Or is it just that time of year? I had a look back last night to what I was posting this time last year, wondering if I had gotten into the Christmas mindframe yet. And it wasn’t until the 5th/6th December that I felt it dawn. I’m the same again this year! Some things, it seems, I can’t change.
    But those that I can, or can at least endeavour to, I’ve promised myself I will.
    I love these photos, btw. They are so creative and I’m coming to see them as unique to you. I could very well see, as Susan says, a showing of these.
    (I haven’t bought a single present yet! Today shall be the day. 😉 )

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    • Anne-Marie, if I could write poetry like yours, I would publish a volume of it. I have not done all my shopping and am getting nervous. Unfortunately, I have work to do and somehow have to get everything done and this house ready for sleepover guests. AAAAaaaagh. I don’t know why I left it to so late.

      I appreciate your kind words about my photos — truly, I am just a learner. I don’t know what I will do with all of them other than post them here and on Flickr. Since I don’t want the mess of painting any more, this is my outlet.

      By the way, I would be fascinated to know more about how you celebrate Christmas in Scotland. My British grandmother described their Christmases to me, but that was long, long ago (for her and for me). I imagine things have changed. She told me she was thrilled to get oranges in her stocking. Imagine that!

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  8. Haven’t been on reader for awhile, and for some strange reason blog post alerts have not been appearing in my new e-mails. LOVE the photos you have been taking with your new camera/lens. I see a one woman show in your future. Take care, Diane

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    • Oh, welcome back, Diane. I have missed you. I think you still have guest bloggers on your site? Thank you about the pictures. I am having fun. Merry Christmas, by the way! ❤

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  9. Great post. I treat my blog like a journal and my Mum, Nan family and friends check in to see what I’m up to and it’s grown from there. If I miss a post I feel like I’ve forgotten something I love the conversations too 😊

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  10. Love the photos on this post! Very cool. Changes they are coming. I’ve noticed that as a recurring theme in quite a few blogs I follow.
    Such great ideas behind the change, so I can say it will be great to see the changes reflected. 🙂

    Now I do wish I had more to post but, I enjoy to read when I can which has come down to almost nil these last few months. Hey you never know, Time may ease me some extra minutes somewhere. Until then, I look forward to your change and those posts that reflect that growth.

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    • Well, I especially want to express my appreciation for your coming here when I know you are so busy (as are so many of us, right?). I think this may be a natural evolution in blogs that are avocational rather than directly related to commercial purposes, as some clearly are. I try to read whenever I can and to post when something occurs to me that I want to share. I will try not to abuse the privilege! Thank you so much! 😀

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