The HoneyMoon’s over (Lake Michigan)

Originally published 6.15.2014 on The Tempest and the Teapot’s Google site.

This Friday, June 13th, 2014 – there was a rare event.  A full moon rising on Friday the 13th.  What made this moonrise even rarer was the coloration – a warm, amber-honey color was predicted for this rising.  Thus, the Honey Moon.

So, risking all the horrors of Friday the 13th – and when you’re carrying a DSLR camera to the beach/lakefront that’s a LOT of money to be daring the bad-luck fairy to look away from – the mythos of the full moon causing madness (ok…so I’m already crazy and didn’t need to worry too much about that one) and the SQO’s being bored, I dragged him into the car and off we went.

Once we got to the lake, I realized I had forgotten all about the whole ‘cooler by the lake’ thing, and was only wearing a light top with no sleeves.  Well…  Artists always suffer for their work.  My Turn!!!

We arrived a bit early – sunset was in full swing, but the moon hadn’t come up yet.   So, as I had some time to kill, I set up on my beach for some sunset shots.

I wasn’t disappointed – Mother Nature delivered a very purple sunset…

My beach on the Lake (and just to be clear, here, if I’ve gone to a location for shots 3x or more, it officially, at least in my mind, becomes ‘mine.’  My Beach, my Riverwalk, my Fountain, etc…) runs roughly northwest to southeast, so I can get both sunset and moonrise on the same location.

I foresee a foray out to my beach in my future…one VERY early morning.. to catch a sunrise.  

Two years, hasn’t happened yet.  Can I procrastinate, or what???

As we made our way up the concrete causeway to the round observatory extending into the Lake, I found – people.  Not many people, mind you…but just a few -as crazy as I am- with cameras extended toward the horizon to catch the Honey Moon rising.  Once again proving that I’m not the only nut-job in this state, but amongst a small, eccentric minority of slightly insane nature-lovers.

I snapped away.  Moonrise was well in progress, the color was fantastic, and the camera was singing in electronic joy.  Once I took my attention off the moon – I noticed the power plant further up the shoreline.  Beautiful, the way the reflections hit the water.

Say what you will about the cost of utilities these days, but I’ll forgive them my high-heat bill last winter for them putting out this spectacular light show on the shore.  But only last winter’s bills.  This winter, they’re on their own.

Now, I know I’ve mentioned that the SQO is a musician.  As a performer, he’s a natural in front of the camera.  I’ve lost count of the number of projects he’s appeared in – he’s always a willing vict…er…volunteer for whatever insane idea I have involving my camera.

I’d come across a number of forced perspective photos on the web – and naturally, the ‘what the hell’ just burst out of me in the throes of the moonrise (who am I to question the strange ideas blooming under the light of the full moon?)
Several moments of ‘just a bit to the right, now raise your hand JUUUUUUST a bit more, back to the left a hair, turn your head a little more, lower your chin, NOPE, too much, lower your hand a fraction of an inch,’ produced this ducky little shot.

 

And, as an aside – He was certainly more attentive to the Lakeshore temperature than I was – June, and he’s sensibly dressed in a leather jacket, hat, and scarf, while I’m doing the whole ‘Freezin’ for a Reason’ thing.

Overall, the shoot went well – but I couldn’t tempt the wicked fates of Friday the 13th by getting great shots without paying the price for my success – even with being under dressed, freezing my bunz off, and succumbing to the influences of the light of the crazy-generating moon.  (where do you think the term ‘lunatic’ comes from?)

Finally, there were no more good shots to be had.  As the moon rose higher in the sky, the amber hue faded away, until only the standard white moon filled the sky.  Quite pleased with my shots, I quickly packed things up…because by this time I was shaking more than a bit, I believe I started acquiring a lovely shade of blue, and the mosquitoes were undaunted by the brisk night air.

In Wisconsin, the mosquitoes grow fur to combat the weather!

The DSLR came off the tripod and into its bag – close and clip.  The Canon with the mega-zoom got looped around my neck.  The tripod was folded, but the legs were still extended.  The teacup had its own little bag to stay secure in, along with a smallish brass chalice I’d picked up at Goodwill (seriously, folks, if you’re ever looking for awesome photo props that won’t break the bank – go to your local Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul, or any other resale shop in your area), and they were both nestled inside.

We made haste to the car – up the concrete sidewalk toward shelter and warmth, when I heard it.

A metallic tink. Followed by the breaking of glass.

I had forgotten to zip the bag with the teacup.  Both it, and the chalice, launched from the bag in a misguided attempt to break for freedom.  My poor, brave, foolish little teacup.  I guess the pressures of stardom were too much for it.  It must have been depressed to never be pressed into service as a container for a hot bath of Earl Grey, surrounded with happy, crunchy bikkies on the side.  It ended its life of photographic supermodel-dom on the concrete walkway for the observatory on Bender Beach on the Wisconsin side of Lake Michigan.

Rest in Pieces, little buddy. Friday the 13th took you from me, and the Honey Moon is now over…

Guitar Town

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Waukesha is called (unofficially) Guitar Town.  Now…we do have several music-themed shops in the downtown area (teaching, repairing, selling instruments, and a brisk trade in old vinyl).  We also have Friday Night Live every week from Memorial day to Labor day in the downtown area, live concerts on Tuesday nights by the library, and bars offering bands the opportunity to play live throughout the year – this would suggest music town more than guitar town.

So why are we Guitar Town?

Waukesha is the birthplace of Les Paul.  The guy who, according to his Wiki page, was one of the ‘architects of the modern solid-body electric guitar.’

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This is the guy who made Gibson…GIBSON

We, the denizens of this little town, celebrate Les Paul in a lot of ways.  We’ve the Les Paul highway, the Les Paul school.

We’ve got murals painted all over town celebrating his life:

20170516_171211We’ve also got guitar sculptures scattered all across the town…

 

And, yes…we’ve got his final resting place.

 

I wandered through the cemetery on the walk home tonight – after all, it’s right across the street from work…and found where he’s laid down.  I’m not the only one to do so…several musicians had been there before me, leaving tribute in the only way guitar players can:

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Those are guitar picks on his grave.

Proudly Seeing Faces

Humans have a gift…we perceive familiar patterns where none exist.  The ‘learned’ amongst us call this phenomenon Pareidolia, and go on with a long and even more boring dissertation on the hows, the whys, and the psychology of said same.  The rest of us say:  “Look – I see a dragon eating a castle in the clouds.”

 

I looked this term up this afternoon – and found something that royally irritated me for a second.  An article, who’s headline read:  “Do you see faces everywhere?  That’s because you’re a neurotic mess.”

Ex…..CUUUUUUSE me?????

Ignorant, judgmental, terrified boneheads…

 

I’ve always been proud to be able to see the drunken octopus… put-your-dukes-octopus-door-hook-demotivational-posters-1376398793

 

Or the shocked faces in a wall outlet…

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And I’ve seen some pretty freaky stuff in clouds…

 

But to say this is the result of a diseased mind?  It’s called having an imagination, which (I suppose) in today’s regimented, group-mind-think culture may be considered an affliction unless you’re seeing the Holy Virgin-Mother Mary in a piece of toast (now with more whole-grain miracles!) …but still.

Ignorant, judgmental, terrified boneheads…

I’ve captured a few oddball things on my walks about town.  There are a couple of pretty funky trees in Bethesda Park – one looks like it’s bowing, and the other like a diva in full high-note on stage.

And I found this stone in front of the Waukesha County Historical Museum where someone molded a face.

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Rest assured, I’ll be browsing my little town all throughout the summer for more examples of my ‘neurotic mess’ of a mind.

And speaking of neurotic messes of the mind – ever read one of them articles on organizing your workload?   The one I remember from long ago (and I do use this mental trick) was:  instead of focusing on the entire task from start to finish, which can seem insurmountable and WAAAAAY too much work – if you mentally break it out into several more manageable ‘chunks,’ and then only focusing on the chunk at hand, you can trick your mind into getting it done more effectively.

So, I’ve officially broken out my walk to work into three distinct and smaller legs.  I’ve the city leg, the parks leg, and the industrial leg.  I realized I’d been doing this this morning, so I figured I’d celebrate with a blog post.

So here’s a few shots from that qualify for the City Leg:

 

 

And from the Park Leg:

 

And…lastly – the Industrial Leg.  I even get some color on this segment of the journey, because on one side there’s industry, and the other, a huge cemetery with plenty of flowering trees:

Mystery in the Powder Room

As most of us spend 8+ hours/5 days per week at a job that’s not attached to our home, most business locations feature restroom facilities – unless your employer requires you to be male and outdoorsy, in which case there are plenty of trees to choose from.

just stay away from electric fences…

 

For a little better than a week now in my employer’s bathroom – this has been sitting on top of the toilet paper in the stall I frequent:

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Given that 420 was less than 2 weeks ago, and this was a popular meme on Facebook at the same time – it’s not hard to connect a few dots and visualize this little cup having a purpose other than what it was created for…

 

The company I work for is a large-scale food manufacturer, and this is one of our sample containers.  Now…how it got from the shop floor, across the warehouse floor, up the stairs, and into the business office’s ladies room is one mystery – and the reason it hasn’t vanished is a second, bonus mystery.

Personally, I just find it hysterical.  Any time I’ve needed a laugh in the past week, I just go potty.

 

***Official Disclaimer***

Although I haven’t personally indulged in botanical recreation for a long…LONG time, I have no trouble supporting those who do.  With all the atrocities committed by one human on another human in this world, we could all do a lot worse than absorbing a chemical substance who’s only side effects are calmness, relaxedness, and a penchant for crunchy, salty snacks.

And – if you believe the hype – a potential cure for some cancers.

So…blaze on, my friends, if you so desire – we need all the relaxed, calm, ‘I need Potato Chips!’ people this world can give us.

 

 

Art Abandonment Project – 3rd Drop

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I have to admit – I dropped the ball…

It’s been a couple of weeks since I offered another chainmaille art piece to the winds of fate to brighten the day of some random individual slated by those fates to receive a gift.

Last night, I finally remembered to grab one of the packages I’ve had sitting, patiently, on my desk as we headed out to the theater.

So, not only did I pick up the aforementioned ball last night…I managed to place a very successful abandonment, get a picture, and walk away without any witnesses whatsoever.

Whirly Bird Abandoned 4.18.17

So, if anyone out there is looking for the artist who left a whirly bird chainmaille at the Ridge Theater in New Berlin, WI on 4.18.17, a bit before 8pm….

 

 

And…the movie we watched last night?  It’s a Japanese Anime Chick-Flick being shown in the US on a VERY limited release called “Your Name.”  It’s a gorgeous film – the artwork in it is top-notch, the story was enough to move me to tears, and we left the theater feeling extremely good.   It’s got a good blend of mystical “what-in-hell is going ON here??” paired with teen-aged hope & dream, a dash of love thrown in, and, just to top it all off, a looming disaster from space.

I just love it when a film can multi-task.

I’m Walking Around! – or – Alright…who conjured a demon?

 

It’s interesting how life things just…happen.  I had started out today’s posting by putting words on the screen Saturday.  I knew it was gonna be about the first, triumphant walk to work…and I wanted bragging rights.

Then Sunday night happened – an unfortunate incident involving a pan of freshly hard-boiled eggs and my sock – and I started a second post for today growling about the vicissitudes of fate and rapid disrobing techniques.

Hence – the double title for today’s post.  I wasn’t sure until this morning which one was gonna go up…I couldn’t pick a favorite, so they both did.

 

First – I believe Spring has finally gotten Mother Nature firmly back on her meds and moderating her off-the-wall mood swings…we had a beautiful day here in Wisconsin on Saturday.

I got to take a walk, and solidify my work route.  According to the map – I got in 1.8 miles for the round trip.  The route to work is only 1.5 miles, so I’ve proven to myself that I CAN walk the distance.

Today – I got that nice morning.  It was in the high 50’s at 7am – a bit of a breeze and overcast, and a slight chance of rain for the walk home.

I took to the streets.

Downtown Summer 2016

 

First, there was the march through the downtown district – pavement, pavement, pavement…but our buildings are pretty cool, so I’m OK with that.  If I didn’t like all the paving, I wouldn’t have moved to the center of downtown in the first place.

 

 

I got to the Fox River…this is where the pavement shrinks and the green starts.

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Who doesn’t love a walk in the park?  Especially when there’s moving water involved?  The green and growing and the flowing water generate a very in-tune-with-the-Natural vibe that’s evident even just off the center of the bustling downtown district.  It’s one of the reasons I focus so well in downtown Waukesha – the river winds through it and tamps down the oppressive “Buy more shit now” energy generated by humans caught in the throes of capitalism.

So…the 2nd leg of my walk is through Bethesda Park, following the Fox River.  Right now, the trees are still bare, but the grass is greening up so it shouldn’t be long before we have buds springing from those sharp branches.

Beetle Bridge

 

This will forever after be called (in my mind, at least) the Beetle Bridge.  What I love about this is, even through there is other tagging work on it – nobody has bothered to molest the faces.  Under this bridge, there’s additional artwork which has also remained clean of hostile influences.

 

Directly after the bridge – there’s a home with an overabundance of little purple flowers in the front lawn, and I can see the iris plants poking their green blades up from the leftover fall leaves.  Spring is aggressively on its way here.
a IMG_3861 clean grass

 

And here we go for the third and final leg of the trip – up to say hello to my greenspace, and continue up the street to land at work.

 

1.6 miles – before coffee – DONE.

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But…this trip very nearly got delayed again…because sometimes…eggs happen.

Personally, I think the remnants of my fat cells have gone out and summoned a demon in protest.  They’re sick of the ever-shrinking living accommodations my butt is providing, and have taken it into their own hands (or a reasonable facsimile thereof…) to right the wrongs of this ‘damnable Keto diet thing.’

We’re a household of hard-boiled egg eaters.  I have egg salad from time to time, S likes her HB Eggs with a shot of mustard, B takes three to work each morning, and D will grab one on occasion – even though he worries about the cholesterol content.  Eggs are perfect for keto, ideal for gluten-free, and a low-sodium, very low-cost complete protein source.  Every Sunday night…I put a dozen & a half to the pot.

Well…last night, while transferring the pot of freshly boiled eggs from the stove to the sink to shock them cold, those fat-summoned demons caught the bottom of the pot on the counter.  It did this crazy jiggle – which a vessel filled with water likes to do – and I ended up slopping boiling water down my front to soak happily into my shirt, pants, and left sock.

I swear – I heard the demonic little fat cells cheer over the successful completion of their evil plan.

Well…while saying a few -less than polite- words, I did my own crazy little jiggle I like to call the ‘hot pants dance.’  It’s amazing how quickly the clothing comes off when pain is involved.

I think I got off lucky.  The last time I ended up with near-boiling water in my lap, I was 5 – and had 2nd degree burn blisters all up and down my legs.  This time, I have some bright red and puffy spots on my stomach and top of the left foot, but no blisters.

So what’s a freshly-boiled girl to do?

I slathered the burns with coconut oil.  A nice, thick layer over my belly and foot.  And I went to sleep.

This morning – nothing short of fabulous…the foot barely hurts at all, and is only slightly red along the top.  The belly is still just a bit twitchy, but the redness and puffiness diminished markedly from the night before.

I’ll continue to oil up for the next couple of days, but…I’ve defeated the demons and I FINALLY got to walk to work!

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TAKE THAT, FAT CELLS!

 

 

 

Attack of the Killer Sidewalk

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I was accosted last night, on leaving the movie theater (the SQO wanted to see Kong:  Skull Island again) by a patch of pavement.

I think it must have been tired of all the people walking on its face.  I know I’d be irritated if, all day and all night long, there were people walking all over me.

I get enough of that at work, TYVM….

 

I really DO feel sorry for the sidewalk.  It gets frozen in the winter, with just brief glimpses of sunshine to warm its stony heart.  It gets covered in snow, and then rudely scraped of this insulating layer of semi-moisture.  Most times, it gets salt thrown over it, which is allowed to dry out its surface.  And always…feet.  Hundreds, if not thousands, of pairs of feet in boots, soft soles, and the damn stiletto heels pounding on its face over and over and over again.

Summers aren’t much better.  Baked to egg-frying temperatures by the sun.  Rained on.  Sometimes watered in the cool summer mornings by groundskeepers intent on keeping the grass green.  Used (and abused) by skateboarders and roller-bladers, rolled over by bikes & wagons & strollers.  Tickled in the belly by subterranean bugs and weeds determined to punch through.

It ain’t easy…being a sidewalk.

I’m sure it took my inattention of my surroundings as the perfect opportunity to get even.

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For those of you confused by my words…here’s the simpler version…I fell down and went boom.

Actually, I clearly recall saying Oh, Shit…but I digress…

 

I scared the shit outta the SQO.  I also frightened two innocent bystanders into showing concern.  Chivalry isn’t dead in this country after all.  The one lady behind me was thoughtful (and brave, given my feet) enough to retrieve my shoe, and the other one helped me gather up my keys (the mass of chain, rings and keys separated into 3 different portions).  Between them, D, and myself, I was once again put in an upright and bipedal position.  I managed to finish the walk to my car, drive home, and go up the stairs to the front door.

Oddly enough, today…I do not have any bruises.  I have muscular aches all along my left leg, and my left palm is VERY sensitive…but no bruises to show for this brutal attack on my sorry self.

And I’ll offer this tidbit of advice for all you carefree walkers out there –

Watch out for those sinister sidewalks – you never know when one is gonna rise up and exact a bit of revenge…

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