Friday, November 21, 2008

From SF to Eugene.....

On the road again to Eugene seems I’m returning home but I’m not. Left the City at about 7:30am and got quickly onto the bay bridge which wasn’t too busy fortunately. Traffic was quite good actually, and when I got off the bridge I was shocked to see the parking lot of cars waiting to get onto the bridge to cross the bay into the City! Even the ramps leading into the City were virtually stopped, or appeared so…. I was very happy I didn’t have to drive into the City at this time and hassle with the traffic. Getting away from the bay was easy going the opposite direction with no serious traffic problems; I filled up with gas the night previous and was later surprised to see gas prices were actually higher as I left the City, and even in Oregon the gas was higher than in the Bay Area!

Normally I depart at a much earlier time ~ about 4-5am ~ when I do this long drive. It was so strange to be driving in the daylight. Usually by the time I reach the 505 interchange, I am stopping to photograph the sunrise! No such opportunities this time!!

Earlier this week my broken EOS 40D was repaired and picked it up Tuesday. It was good to have it back in my hands and like a worn loved and favorite blanket, felt very good. I have the EOS XTi (400D) as a backup and cannot believe the differences between the two in just the handling and feel. Of course I am not being fair since one is of a higher caliber but still… the 40D is a goddess of a camera in shape, feel and capabilities!! Now, if only I could find a woman just like my camera!! hahahahaaa

So, here I am on the road – seemingly always these days – and now passing through the 505 and onto I-5 which is really quite empty at almost 10am. I like long trips but hate being alone for the duration…. And waited till two hours after my trip start to stop and get a drink of my favorite “coffee”: that concoction of French-Vanilla; when I buy the home-style mix, it never tastes as good. In fact, it doesn’t ever taste anything as well-blended as the store-bought even when made according to the directions… oh blah!! I brought my travel mug with me to rid myself of trying to dispose of the cups… and later at a rest area enjoyed a delicious juicy pear which I bought also. Then back on the road….

I thought this smoke rising in the distance was lovely…

Some of the things I saw was this interesting convoy of fire vehicles – I thought they could be coming from southern California after helping with the fires there. I thought it amazing that in the back of one of the vehicles were some “sleeping” firemen and with another fire truck following very closely. If one by chance fell, he would be pancakes in seconds!!!

this shot of the gorgeous sky reflected in my driver's side rear view mirror is typical of my day, shooting pixs while zipping along at 65mph!!
Most of these - and others posted to my fotopage - were taken by holding my camera in hand and snapping at a speed of 65mph!! I know.... but how else will I stay awake in my car zooming along and alone? In some cases I actually did stop and take the pictures, but the majority were done "on the road"....

Mt Shasta is always pretty to admire from the interstate, and today was no different as she sat by the highway all dressed in white from recent snowfall.

just entering the I-505 interchange, these gorgeous flocks of birds in flight over marshes and I stopped to see and snap... These birds were escaping… where from I didn’t know… it seems they were all just flying along on a thin cloud….
I finally got to Borders in Eugene where the pre-release party for the Capture Lane County photo-coffee book was being held - the sole reason for my trip.... and though none of my pictures were used in the book, it is still a gorgeously-done book.
The book was also presented tonight and I am happy to have it as a fond memory of my short time in Eugene and Oregon. If only things were different, I would have never left.... sigh

I won't mention the three times during this drive while chewing gum I bit the inside of my lip, or when rubbing my eyes, I jabbed myself quite by accident when the car passed over a bump... and in my new eye!!! ouch!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

imagine if everyone.....

.... lived on the street for a week, or even a month. Imagine how our perspective and disgust toward the homeless would change.

Imagine sitting in a restaurant. Eating and sitting with a friend when suddenly you are aware of a homeless person being shown to a table? After being left at the table by the hostess, you notice that everyone else is looking at this lost soul... dressed in dark, ragged smelly clothes. She smells of a combination of urine, dirt, and street filth.

Suddenly she turns and you see her face: distressed and frowning. Skin so dark it looks like a tan honed over weeks on the french or mexican riveria, but you know it is not a tan.

She opens her mouth in a wordless cry, her mouth twisted in what looks like anger, or anguish. Then she turns around and walks out, taking with her the various bags of clothes, cans or bottles. Her perfume lingers in the air, and instantly my "friend" makes a disgusted face and voices her opinion quite loudly for all to hear: Thank goodness she's gone! She stank!!

I told her that she should be more respectful of the homeless, to which she replied with a phrase I won't repeat here. Then I described how in these changing times, anyone could be in her shoes, in her situation... then I asked: If that were me, would you think and treat me the same?

She bounced that off her ears without a reply, and just sat there. When the waitress came along and apologized for the intrusion, my friend spat out that that person didn't belong here and her appetite was ruined. I did notice my friend had already finished her HUGE salad ~ enough to feed easily four homeless individuals ~ minutes before this woman entered and departed.

What would you do?

If everyone lived on the street for the experience, you would be surprised and shocked how many eyes would be opened. I would love to see this "friend" living on the street, without a private toilet, no sofa to lie sown comfortably at night to watch an nonexistent television to watch. What would she do with all the personal belongings dragging behind her in carts or bags?

What would you do?

I know the "intrusion" of this homeless woman didn't disgust me half as much as the selfish inconsiderate reaction of my "friend".