Tuesday, September 13, 2011

and one more for the road

Hard to believe this was our last full week before leaving for our Spain & Italy trip... With that in mind, about half of last week's pictures were taken while running errands and gathering various items on my packing list.

To start things off, another macaron picture. I found myself in Hayes Valley again on Saturday, with Steve this time, looking for a couple articles of clothing for him and some things from the travel store for me/us. After running into Dan and Carmen on the way out, we were also tasked with procuring a couple macarons for them. I hadn't really been planning to stop at the macaron place again so soon, but I didn't mind the excuse to buy a few macarons for us too. And this time, I stopped to take a picture of the scene in the store window.

246/365 more macarons

From one valley to another... We walked to Noe Valley the next day for stops at Walgreens, Whole Foods, and the cheese shop. Somehow, it turned into a day of robot pictures for me. A wooden robot figure caught my eye in the toy store window, and then I noticed a little R2D2 in another shop window—a boutique that suddenly and inexplicably had Star Wars paraphernalia in the display along with the clothing and accessories. I had been too amused by the Darth Vader piƱata on previous passes to notice many of the other things.

247/365 r2

Monday was Labor Day, and we went to Rob and Traci's house for some grilling. We brought a chocolate cake for dessert and some mac and cheese to go with the ribs that Rob and Traci were making, hence the stop at the cheese store the previous day. Wires got crossed in terms of arrival times, and Dan and Carmen's little family was rather later in arriving than we were. As a result, we enjoyed some extra time with Rob and Traci, with their cats out in the open. (The cats were relegated to the bedroom once Enzo arrived.) Tigger was his usual nonchalant self, Earl was slightly braver than usual—we actually saw him this time—and we finally got to meet Spencer. They got him as a kitten in early June, shortly after we were there for Memorial Day. He's grown out of some of his kittenishness since then, but he's still pretty small and adorable. After the first hour or so, he settled down for a nap on the couch. It was much easier to get a good shot of him then.

248/365 spenny

I had taken a break from trip planning for our Labor Day activities, so it was back to it on Tuesday. I figured it was a good time to take a picture of our new luggage and the brightly colored tags we bought for it. (The tags came from the travel store in Hayes Valley on Saturday.) I'm excited to use our new suitcases, since the ones I've had since high school are starting to fall apart. Maybe I'll take another picture of them all packed up and waiting before we leave.

249/365 luggage/tags

Wednesday was unexpectedly eventful, and at the same time, thankfully uneventful. Around 12pm, I got a call from Carmen, wondering if anyone had knocked on my door to tell me about evacuating for a bomb scare. (hmm...) I hadn't heard anything, and the only reason Carmen knew about it was because she was out walking Enzo and saw the street blocked off. You see, there's a Salvation Army drop-off site in our neighborhood, and apparently they had received a suspicious antique cannonball. Anyway, Carmen and I packed up Enzo and Elsa and went for lunch at a cafe while the helicopters circled overhead. We ate outside, since we had the dog, and it was quiet by the time we were finished. All signs of the bomb scare were gone when we got back home. In the meantime, I took pictures of the street near the cafe. Not very exciting, but at least I was free to not think about taking more pictures for the rest of the day.

250/365 a beautiful day...

Busy on Thursday with figuring out our plans for Rome, I didn't spend much time thinking about what to shoot. In fact, I was only just deciding that I didn't like the cop out pictures I had taken of my planning materials when Carmen called. She hadn't been upstairs in ages, and she thought it would be fun to bring Elsa up for a while. (I suspect she was a little stir crazy...) It was perfect timing anyway. Elsa was quite cheerful, and we had a little photo shoot in the big brown chair with Elephant and Piggy. She's not much bigger than them, so it was especially cute.

251/354 elsa & friends

On Friday, I finally caved and joined Instagram. (My username is embem30.) I figured it would be fun to take some "instant" photos while we're traveling, and since I don't have a Polaroid or Instax camera, iPhone pictures are the next best thing. I played with the app briefly during a spare moment at the salon—it was haircut day—and accidentally posted my first picture while trying to figure out how to save my shot to my phone. Oops... Good thing it didn't completely suck, because there were comments I didn't want to lose by the time I figured out how to delete pictures.

My first real effort came a little later, when I went to the mall on a halfhearted hunt for ballet flats. The ceiling of the Nordstrom side was just asking to be Instagrammed. I hadn't taken a picture of it in several years, so I grabbed a few shots with my SLR while I was at it. I can't decide if I like the head sticking out from above, but that's how it is.

252/365 let's go to the mall (today)

Well, that's all from me for now. I'm afraid there will be quite a long absence as I go forth and take lots of pictures, come back, and sort through them all. Not to worry, the 365 project will continue; I've just resigned myself to getting horribly behind in editing and posting. On the plus side, I should have no shortage of inspiration while I'm gone!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

take two

Last time, I left off with a trip to Hayes Valley. Macarons were purchased there at the newly (re)opened Chantal Guillon, but I already had plenty of options for the picture of the day. Therefore, I saved the macarons for Saturday, when I could devote a little more time to shooting them. Having taken several macaron pictures in the past, the challenge is in finding new ways to compose a shot. This time, I went with a variation on the usual "stack o' cookies" theme: three stacks of two, arranged in something of a rainbow order. From front to back there was lavender poppy with cassis, country strawberry, Persian rose, apricot marzipan, green tea, and Italian pistachio. They were all tasty, but the apricot marzipan was definitely my favorite—fresh and intensely apricoty. In general, though, most of them could have been just a touch less sweet to let the other flavors come through better.

239/365 return of the macarons

I was busy with trip planning on Sunday—San Sebastian, if I remember correctly—and my only photo idea was to shoot our Pennette alla Papalina for dinner. I already had a shot of it from last year, with the larger penne pasta, but I didn't mind the idea of a reshoot with pennette. I joined Steve for the walk to the store to get ingredients, just in case I found something to take a picture of on the way. Sure enough, the straw flowers in the park looked interesting behind their fence. The strong afternoon light made for a more contrasty shot than I might have hoped for, but I liked the composition itself. No need for pictures of dinner. (We were running out of pennette anyway and used penne instead.)

240/365 the escapee

Monday's big activity was a walk to Glen Park with Carmen and Elsa. As cute as that little neighborhood was, Elsa was cuter peaking out from under her too-big hat in her carrier.

241/365 undercover baby

While I was playing for a rehearsal that night, Steve was making brown butter and almond cakelets with huckleberries to use up some leftover egg whites. I had taken pictures of the rhubarb version when I made it at the end of May, but I never felt like posting the shots I took of Steve's first huckleberry ones not long after. So when I needed a picture for Tuesday, I got out the cakelets.

242/365 huckleberry hounds

Wednesday's picture of the day came during a short break from more trip planning. I went to Ritual for a wee mocha and took a quick shot of the bar. And that's about all there is to that story.

243/365 afternoon ritual

Yet more trip planning on Thursday—this time for Florence. It was also September 1, so I wanted to tie that into the picture somehow. My first idea was to use the September and October pages of my calendar, and then when that was boring me, I added in the Pinocchio that Dan and Carmen brought back for me from Florence two years ago. (Later, I tracked down the packaging with the address and added Pinocchio's shop to my map.) I still wasn't particularly excited about any of the compositions I was shooting, though, and that's usually the time that I start taking random pictures, trying different angles. This was one such picture. Good thing it was vaguely in focus, because I didn't take another one like it.

244/365 september first

A trip to Noe Valley was necessary on Friday afternoon to seek out and purchase a cardigan and some ballet flats to take with me to Europe. I found a cardigan wrap that I loved at Ambiance, but there were no shoes that I liked at Shoe Biz. And I was only slightly successful in finding a picture to take. Baby blanket with a monkey head in the window of Urban Nest? Well... okay.

245/365 monkey

And that makes two times that I've written this entry... The first attempt was much better, I'm afraid, but Blogger ate it. Hint: Don't hit Ctrl + Z too many times while editing a previously saved draft or it will erase your entire entry and immediately save your now-blank draft. And then, especially don't hit "back" to see if there's a way to restore your last draft. Just try "redo" first...

(The More You Know.)

So if this post sounded a little shorter and half-assed than usual, that's why. Blogger threw off my groove, yo.

Oh, and here's the August mosaic.