Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Earlier this month, we did a spontaneous trip to New York City to celebrate mine and my husband's birthdays - as a good friend of mine says, "Wow, when you get spontaneous, you go to New York City. When we get spontaneous, we go to Cold Stone Creamery..."  I can't believe I've gotten to this mid-life age, and never been to New York before!  This will be remedied in the future.  I thought I'd share a few shots with you of the city in winter. 
Macy's - and I never made it past the first floor.  I definitely didn't get to Santaland, (and if you have never read "The SantaLand Diaries" by David Sedaris, do yourself a favor and do do.  It is everything you love and hate about Christmas in a nutshell. Extra points to you if you have ever worked in customer service, as you, dear readers will especially appreciate this one!)

Ice skaters in front to Rockfeller Center.  

The famous Rockerfeller Center tree; it was so amazing to see this many people all going to visit an evergreen.

 It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
The old dairy next to the sheep meadow, Central Park.

Merry Christmas, Blessed Solstice, and brightest blessings for your New Year.  I hope all your artistic dreams come true.  Seasonal hugs, Jane

Friday, December 3, 2010

Why I don't like iTunes, but won't trade my iPhone for anything...a non-rant

I don't like iTunes.  Everyone else seems to think it's so intuitive - no, I cannot concur.  I find it entirely counterintuitive, and irritating.  But, lest you suspect a rant coming on - this is not in fact a rant.  It's a....not sure what opposite of rant is - er, praise?  Can one have "a praise?"  Well, I will proceed to do so anyway.

This is a praise of the iPhone, despite the perfidy of its operating system, because for photography apps, it just can't be beat.  My favorite of all?  Hipstamatic.  It enables one to take those artsy sort of photos that one admires in the journals of people like Sabrina Ward Harrison and so forth.  Folks that just ooze artsy and effortless in making crap photos look so intentional and good, but yet so carelessly tossed off the lens as to be barely worth a mention.  You know what I mean - some people just make you think "artist" with everything they do, and they usually take craptastic photos. With apologies to Sabrina of course, because she probably doesn't have to resort to trickery, or even Lomography.  And she's totally amazing.  Shanti, shanti, shanti... But I digress...   
So the truly artsy types have had a bit of help over the years - they started using Lomo cameras before the rest of us.  The Holga, the Diana - such plastic bodied, light-filtering in, exposed film decadence!  But those still require that you actually develop the (long outdated) film.  The Hipstamatic for iPhone requires no more than a quick download off the camera..

All that fussing with using manual SLR's back in my college days.  No, I don't regret taking proper photography - I learned how a real camera, and developing film, and printing in a darkroom actually properly works.  It was my favorite class I ever took along with archery (except when I shot myself in my own arm.  The teacher said in 20 years of teaching, she'd never seen anything like it.  I was sidelined until a spot in badminton opened up.  Best weeks of PE ever.)  Oh, and "lifetime crafts" - how cool is that?  I learned how to cut linoleum blocks to make stamps for printing.  This would turn out much more useful in later life.  I do love liberal arts colleges.
But the Hipstamatic app for iPhone is so much MORE FUN!  Even better, you get multiple "lenses" that produce all sorts of truly magical effects.  These photos were taken with the Dali lens package.  More surrealism than a mere phone ever had daydreams of.  Can you believe it's really just a phone?  This still amazes me.
So are you making handmade Christmas gifts for all your relatives and friends?  I'm sure hoping that mine appreciate my slightly off the wall photography - coz they're gettin' it in some form or another!  You saw a sneaky peek.'s our secret.