Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Black and White, Circa 1997

I mentioned a few months ago that I had a roll of undeveloped, black and white 35mm film from the late 90's when I took a photography class. I've been looking for someone who can develop it and the one company that got back to me said the rust on the outside of the canister has likely corrupted the film and made it undevelopable (is that a word?). But they're willing to try, so I'm going to send it to them to see if maybe there's something salvageable on there. If not, then I suppose it will remain a mystery as to what I shot on that roll.

In the mean time, while going through a dresser that's full of old files and junk, I came across a few black and whites I took during that class. They're photos that I developed with my own two hands and thought it might be fun to share while I wait to see if the ones on the roll turn out. They're a little bit random, a representative of project requirements I can't remember anymore.
Silverwood Lake, San Bernardino County, 1997

I took this shot of Silverwood lake from the pull out on the way to the park gate. I believe the lake was low because they were working on the dam, but it might also have been drought, or a combination of both.
Your move, 1997

Satellite, 1997
These other two were random subject matters I had around the house. The top one was taken on our front porch in the house where I grew up. The bottom one was a close up of the huge, old fashioned satellite dish we had in our side yard, the kind everyone had in the 80's and 90's.

The photos are 8 x 10 and have become a little bent and scratched up over the years. I had them in frames on the wall at one point, years ago, but they're now in a manila file, in a pile of files in an old dresser drawer. I don't have the negatives anymore to have them printed again, so this is the only copy that exists of each picture. I still love them, there's just a quality in photos taken with film that you cannot get from digital photography. I still have the camera I used to shoot them, an old Pentax K-1000 we bought in a pawn shop because my professor, a charming and eccentric photographer I developed quite the crush on, required we have a camera that be only manipulated manually, no digital cameras. 

I wonder if it still works?

Sunday, September 15, 2019

A Kiss in the Dark

Do you remember your first kiss? The first kiss with your significant other, a first kiss with a lover somewhere along the way, the one defining kiss that's sealed itself in your brain so completely that when you think about kisses, it's your only memory?

Some ladies in one of my Facebook groups were having a lively discussion about kissing earlier this week, sharing memories about their first or most memorable kisses. I didn't jump in because I'm a lurker in most groups and also because I don't remember my first kiss. I have no idea when, how long, or who my kissing partner was. I do have one bad memory of an attempted kiss when I was 15 years old that never happened because, quite grossly, his mouth was wide open and I took off before he could suck my face. Not surprisingly, we broke up that afternoon.

But, my most memorable kiss was and still is a good memory. One that will forever rise above all others and that, thanks to that Facebook group chat, has been floating around in the front of my mind for a the past few days. I don't think about it most of the time. Almost never, until this last week. It's just a thing that happened, in my past, when I was 18 years old... twenty-three years ago. Maybe I remember it because I was young and my mind was still capable of hanging on to memories like that. When I was a little less cynical. But, I like to think it's because the kiss was remarkable.

It was the mid-90s and I was working a seasonal job at a local department store. This particular night was dark, it was almost ten o'clock, and the late October/early November desert air was cool. I was wearing a light weight black dress with a pretty floral pattern, the back had a double strap crossing pattern that exposed just a little bit of my mid-back. The sleeves were short and the dress was just above the knee length. It had a slightly low-cut sweetheart-like neckline.  It was pretty and was my favorite.

I had been working during closing that evening and was walking out with a co-worker to wait by the back door for a friend who was taking me home. There was a small, dim light above the back door, but it didn't shed much light. The co-worker I'd walked out with, a very good looking, early 30's guy, waited with me. He worked loss prevention and though his truck was parked around the corner, he didn't want to leave me standing alone in the dark.

We must have been talking about something, but I can't at all remember what. It's not significant. What I do remember is the warmth of his hand on the side of my face before he kissed me. I remember the color of his hair and eyes, the style of his frames, his height and stature. I won't go into detail about how it felt, how I felt, other than to say I felt warm and... desired. It was the first time I had felt truly desired.

Maybe it was the circumstances, the night, my age, his age, some other things happening in my personal life at the time. Maybe it was the illicitness of the kiss. We were both otherwise attached and we definitely should not have been kissing in the dark. Whatever the reason, that one single kiss is imprinted on my memory. It wasn't the only kiss I shared with this person, but it's the only one I remember in such striking detail.

In the twenty-three years since then, this is the first time I've shared that memory with anyone. I've never spoken about it or put it into words, even to friends who knew what was going on in my life at the time or since. It certainly wasn't something I wanted to share with a group of judgmental strangers on Facebook and I'm not even sure why I'm sharing it here, other than to get it out of my head and because, even though it wasn't appropriate circumstances, it's one of my best memories.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Coffee and a Classic: Anna Karenina

I got my August Coffee and a Classic book box a couple of days ago. The classic literature selection for the month was Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. I feel like a broken record, but the box was just as beautifully curated as they all have been. The book is hard cover and absolutely beautiful. All of that said, for several reasons, it's probably going to be a long while before I get around to reading this one. It's extremely heavy and I've heard that, in the trend of the Russian authors of his time, this book is so depressing. Since I'm already falling down that deep, dark hole, reading a sad book isn't on my agenda.

That doesn't mean I'm any less excited to receive it. It's a lovely addition to my collection and, some day, I'll probably give it a go. Check out this lovely box...

As always, I'll include a better picture of the book below. It's really lovely. This month's box includes the hard back book, a pretty ribbon book mark, a candle, a hand towel with a quote printed on it, a pretty maroon mug, Dark Orange Hot Cocoa, and Russian tea cookies. It came as the others have, in a nice navy blue photo box. I never throw these away because they're pretty heavy duty and will make a nice storage solution when I figure out what to do with them someday. 

Check out this hardcover book. I love the jewel and quilted flower embellishments. It's a Barnes & Noble Collectible Edition book and is very well made. The binding is strong and you can see from the light in the picture that the gold printing on the cover is quite shiny. The book is off white and the printing inside is big enough to easily read. As I noted above, the book is very heavy and might be uncomfortable for long periods of reading without something to prop it up on. 

It was a little bit tough to get a good picture of the bookmark, but I gave it my best shot. It's a pretty white ribbon with a charm on one end and a drop faux-pearl on the other. What I'm most impressed with about this is the attention to detail this represents. You can see from the book's cover, the little drop pearls in the design along the top and in the middle under the title. The book mark matches this design element and really ties everything together. I usually store the bookmarks in the book, but because of the shape of this bookmark, it's not long enough to be in the book on the shelf. I'm still working out what I'll do with it so I don't lose it. 

The blue towel is neat, but I'm actually a little afraid to use and wash it. I have the same problems with the mugs, I'm worried the washing machine or dishwasher will ruin the design. This isn't arbitrary, my Phantom of the Opera mug was utterly ruined by putting it in the dishwasher. I digress. The towel says "All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow." I love this quote. I'm thinking the towel will be more for display than use.

The second "bookish item" in the box was this candle. It's hard to tell from this angle, but the canister has a row of pearls running around the rim below where the lid goes on. I love the little flower pattern on the canister's lid, but I'm not sure I like the candle's scent. I've been trying to figure out what the scent is since the box came. I may just burn it and see if I like it. If I don't, I'll put the lid back on and it will be strictly decorative. 

Now onto my favorite parts of the box. The cocoa, mug, and treat. First, the cocoa. This one comes from McStevens. I've gotten several others from them and they are almost always amazing. When I discover enough flavors I like, I'm going to order from them. As it is, the shipping is pricey, so it's not worth ordering just one flavor. I haven't actually tried this one yet, but I love orange and chocolate together, so I'm sure I'll love it. I really like the lovely picture on the envelope. Just like the book mark, it's a lovely addition to the box that shows a lot of attention to detail. All the boxes are like this, though, so I'm not terribly surprised it's gorgeous again this month!

All I have to say about this mug is PRETTY! The rich maroon color against the tan/gold of the design really does not come through in this photo. When I run my hand over the mug, I can feel the pattern, so I'm thinking it's going to be strictly hand wash only. I put some of them in the dishwasher, but I probably won't after the design melted right off of my Phantom of the Opera mug. I'm still completely and totally heartbroken about the Phantom mug. I'm certain I've said so before, but I would love it if the insert would indicate whether or not the mug is dishwasher safe.

Sooooo... I'm sure you'll notice that the cellophane bag is empty. I ate these suckers about two seconds after the box was open. It only occurred to me after I had scarfed them down and tossed the wrapping that I hadn't gotten a picture of the lovely little cookies. My bad. On the upside, they were delicious. There were three little cookies and the wrapping was tied with a lovely satin ribbon. I love sweet treats, so I look forward to what they'll come up with for this box every month. I've only been less than thrilled once and I've been getting this box for 9 months.

Even the box insert is gorgeous this month! They're always neat, but this one is beautiful. The vibrant red with gold embellishments. It's just enchanting. The insert is safely tucked inside the book where I can't possibly lose it. Overall impression of this month's box... wonderful! 

My subscription was set to renew September 1st, so I decided to move my it from 3-pay to month to month so I could easily control my book selection (classical lit, classic nonfiction, or children's lit) for the month without having to email them. This coming month, I have already changed from classic lit to classic nonfiction. I'm so excited about September's book. If you're interested you can check it out on their website's sneak peek page.

**Absolutely not a paid endorsement, I pay for this subscription every month. I just love the product. 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Fall is Coming... Thank Goodness

I'm having a bit of a rough week and have been feeling quite emotionally drained. I had an interview for a job that I'm very qualified for, but due to my horrid social skills, I didn't score a second round interview. I like the job I currently have, so I'm trying not to let it get me down. But, that's not going as well as you might imagine. The ever-present depression is creeping in to take me over again, I can feel it, but I'm trying to push back.

In an effort to put the shitty week behind me, I've been trying to perk myself up with reminders that now that it's September... fall is coming. The Pumpkin Spice Latte (and the new Pumpkin Cream Cold Brews, too) came back earlier than ever this year, football season starts next week, and in the next month it's going to begin to cool down. Everything is going to turn beautiful shades of red, orange, and yellow, and soon, I won't even remember this horrible, rotten, no good week.

That's honestly helping a little bit. Fall is my favorite season. I look forward to the end of summer every year and don't even mind that fall is the gateway to winter. Everything about fall makes me happy. Everything. In fact, I love pumpkin spice so much, I got a t-shirt to declare my undying allegiance for the tasty squash and spices. It came this week and looks great on me, so that's a win from my otherwise gloomy week. Well, that and I've had two venti Pumpkin Cream Cold Brews and a PSL in the last two days, so that helps with my mood a bit, too.

It really, truly cannot come soon enough. I can only hold the gloom back so long before it breaks my will and I fall into the encouraging depressive void. Fingers cross fall gets here first.

Fall 2018