Why I’m never signing into Facebook again, if EVER!

- I can’t escape it. 

- I recognize I have weak self-control and an obsessive nature.   

- I am bothered more than I am benefited by it.   

- Senseless comments, posts about guns or food or politics or religion, hoards of vain self-portraits and pictures with god-knows-what on baby faces are increasingly intolerable.  

- Lack of originality, and by that I mean waaaay too many reposts of quotes.

- I use it as a solution to the slightest frustration, boredom, or loneliness.  

- I strongly believe there are better, healthier, and more wholesome ways of maintaining friendships.  

- I hate feeling helpless when a friend or family member cries aloud, or worse, guilty that I didn’t react or involve myself for various reasons, which then always evolves into a fiery internal battle of conscious.   

- Too many people to care about.     

- I am regularly embarrassed for and by my friends and family.   

- I regularly embarrass myself.   

- I forget who can see my posts and have to sensor myself when I remember. 

- I have been responsible for contributing to viral misinformation.   

- It distracts me from my immediate surroundings and company.   

- Its irresistibly convenient mobile access risks my life and other lives.   

- There is always something new to see, whether it’s worth my time or not, and thus feeds an addiction which makes me feel ill with defeat and deceit.   

- Too many opportunities exist for irrational comparison.   

- I can’t get myself to erase people who don’t deserve my friendship and then grow painstakingly resentful towards them and myself.   

- Too many temptations for commitments my hospitable, selfless, thoughtful, push-over nature can’t refuse and my schedule can’t accept.   

- Easy access for needy people.   

- The extremely high probability for textual misinterpretation.   

- The emotional dependency I’ve developed for it.   

- People increasingly dismiss my invites-my genuine requests for company- and instead are taking my ideas and running with them without me. 

- The common attitude that Facebook invites are impersonal.   

- The regularly negative and offensive people that litter the feeds.   

- Lazy social networkers, owning a profile simply to browse other people’s lives instead of interacting with them.   

- The overload of insincere and effortless birthday wishes.   

- The annoying and constant expectation that I’ll take and post event pictures.   

- “Picture Diarrhea”.   

- Sometimes people just aren’t meant to linger in my life or me in theirs-just passing extras in momentarily overlapping worlds.   

- I have a relentless, agonizing need, enabled by Facebook, to compensate for the social disaster that was my teenagehood.   

- Too often I compulsively instigate.   

- It’s a cyberland of rampant narcissism and wasted time!

Fairfield, California.
It’s a degree of delightful watching your average photograph dramatically transform with the tap of a finger, journeying through many emotions within seconds. Thanks to Instagram I’ve developed the impulse to want to apply a filter to EVERYTHING, kind of how I want to Command-Z all my real-world fender-benders and burnt-toast sort of mistakes now that I’ve mastered the Adobe Creative Suite.
I viewed a vlog about a raging pro photographer who swore his career was over thanks to the photo-sharing social network giant. Somehow I translated that as I’m a cheater, feeling increasingly guilty with each post, and especially with every reminder of my legit photography degree.
For him, mainly, I’m getting back to basics - applying filters layer by layer, playing with curves and color balance, channel mixing, mechanically vignetting even, and spending way too much time trying to get an effect other than “natural”.
I want to ask him what’s so wrong about convenience. I prefer editing images over making them anyway, and with any tool available to me. And I can, and I really shouldn’t feel the need to compensate for my Instagram-ing. Any filtering is fun.

Fairfield, California.

It’s a degree of delightful watching your average photograph dramatically transform with the tap of a finger, journeying through many emotions within seconds. Thanks to Instagram I’ve developed the impulse to want to apply a filter to EVERYTHING, kind of how I want to Command-Z all my real-world fender-benders and burnt-toast sort of mistakes now that I’ve mastered the Adobe Creative Suite.

I viewed a vlog about a raging pro photographer who swore his career was over thanks to the photo-sharing social network giant. Somehow I translated that as I’m a cheater, feeling increasingly guilty with each post, and especially with every reminder of my legit photography degree.

For him, mainly, I’m getting back to basics - applying filters layer by layer, playing with curves and color balance, channel mixing, mechanically vignetting even, and spending way too much time trying to get an effect other than “natural”.

I want to ask him what’s so wrong about convenience. I prefer editing images over making them anyway, and with any tool available to me. And I can, and I really shouldn’t feel the need to compensate for my Instagram-ing. Any filtering is fun.

"To understand is to perceive patterns." 
- Isaiah Berlin
Perceiving patterns is a prerequisite for understanding. Understanding itself is inferring the reasons for those patterns to exist. http://www.wildbranchmushrooms.com/turkey-tail

"To understand is to perceive patterns."

- Isaiah Berlin

Perceiving patterns is a prerequisite for understanding. Understanding itself is inferring the reasons for those patterns to exist.

http://www.wildbranchmushrooms.com/turkey-tail

Generation Microprocessor

When my 7.5 hour work day is done I then immediately jump into my weekday hobbies. The problem with most of those - digital illustration, digital photography, portfolio and photo blog maintenance, Instagram-ing, Twitter-ing, Tumblr-ing, planning weekend outings, watching movies/series, and researching the world until the wee morning hours - is that they also involve looking at a computer screen. My eyes, ass, wrist, back, and brain often turn to a throbbing mush after 12 hours…and to think what’s happening to them after 5 days in a row is rather disconcerting!

My 100 year old grandma is nearly blind, somewhere in the 90 percentile. She’s increasingly suicidal over it, worst of all. The only way she knows I’m present is if I make an announcement along with a gentle tapping to her thigh or shoulder. She can’t feed herself, dress herself, or navigate around the house. She is utterly miserable and I, as well as everyone around her, feel miserably helpless. 

This weighs heavy on my heart, of course, and I can’t help to think what worse state I may be in at her age…or younger, probably, considering I spend 70+ hours weekly staring into screens of sorts. I’ve had regular computer exposure since as far back as the early 80’s. Not only was I raised with tech savvy parents always ahead of their peers, I was also born into the generation of microprocessors. In her whole century of life, my grandma has voluntarily sat in front of or held one of these for no more than a few hours total! Costco optometry department, the neighborhood chiropractic, and my fitness trainer will tell you I’m on the highway to her hell a third of her lifespan too soon.

The upcoming generation of artificial intelligence better hurry along so to compensate for all that sitting and staring I’ve done in my 30 years and that I’ll surely do in my 30 years to come.  Maybe I should reconsider continuation of a digital arts career. Or I could make an absurdly drastic change to my choice of hobbies now, but I’m certain it will be a very lonely, backwards road outside of computer-land. Though it doesn’t feel like it yet, maybe our bodies are already evolving to tolerate such strained hours in it. I hope, anyway.

My grandma’s deterioration has etched fear into my future but has brought about a startling fresh perspective for the present state of my well-being. Soon, if not tomorrow, something has got to give.

I was ever so curious to know why the lower trail to the falls was sign-posted as closed. The fellas convinced me to find out. We learned the forbidden trail was slightly overgrown but intact, apart from a collapsed bridge which actually made for a fun hop and scramble. It was a sign meant to be disobeyed, unlike this one.

I was ever so curious to know why the lower trail to the falls was sign-posted as closed. The fellas convinced me to find out. We learned the forbidden trail was slightly overgrown but intact, apart from a collapsed bridge which actually made for a fun hop and scramble. It was a sign meant to be disobeyed, unlike this one.

Taken in the most photographed building in New Zealand. Is it any wonder? Wait until you see the stained glass!

Taken in the most photographed building in New Zealand. Is it any wonder? Wait until you see the stained glass!

This was my last true attempt at drawing since plunging head-first into digital arts three years ago. I’ve been aching to return to pencils and paints for too long now.

I witnessed this clever crow recognize the sound of the boat and then the face of our tour guide. He followed him for a mile up the canyon knowing he had a pocket full of salty snacks. He took no offerings from anyone but the guide, perching himself every few feet ahead of the trail he knew he’d take. Our guide, partly Native-American, said the crow and his “wife” were the guardians of the Rainbow Arch at Lake Powell. And so I’m convinced they sealed our fate - that rocky boat-ride back from it…
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/09/nat-geo-amazing-clever-cr_n_635605.html

I witnessed this clever crow recognize the sound of the boat and then the face of our tour guide. He followed him for a mile up the canyon knowing he had a pocket full of salty snacks. He took no offerings from anyone but the guide, perching himself every few feet ahead of the trail he knew he’d take. Our guide, partly Native-American, said the crow and his “wife” were the guardians of the Rainbow Arch at Lake Powell. And so I’m convinced they sealed our fate - that rocky boat-ride back from it…

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/09/nat-geo-amazing-clever-cr_n_635605.html

*squeals of excitement!*  The DoLab has announced Lightning In A Bottle sale dates today!!!!!!!! They’ll begin February 12th at 10am and it looks as if LIB is still the most affordable multi-day music festival offered in SoCal. And even better news is it’s in a new location: Lake Skinner in Temecula, and dates have been moved to mid-July which means warm nights and even more risqué costumes!

One of the most transcendental experiences of my life happened at the festival, during a mass group meditation in between DJ sets. When new age spiritualists speak of “being as one” or “heartbeat of the world”, I now know exactly what they’re talking about.

Here are some of my favorite pictures I took at past LIBs.

Arroyo Tapiado Mud Caves of Anza Borrego, California - the one place that is worth every grain of dirt that ends up on every square inch of your body after exploring just a couple of the many caves! Here we are traversing the top of them along the main wash into the badlands. Some of us got there through a narrow opening of a two-tier, tight and winding cave, while others scored the 100ft+, near vertical cliff-side on all fours, as pictured here.

Arroyo Tapiado Mud Caves of Anza Borrego, California - the one place that is worth every grain of dirt that ends up on every square inch of your body after exploring just a couple of the many caves! Here we are traversing the top of them along the main wash into the badlands. Some of us got there through a narrow opening of a two-tier, tight and winding cave, while others scored the 100ft+, near vertical cliff-side on all fours, as pictured here.

This same scenery was featured in the movie John Carter of Mars. It was also captured shortly before my husband and I and our two kiwi visitors encountered the wrath of mother nature as deemed by Indian spirits. I wrote the following Facebook status the same fateful day:

I pledge to never ever challenge the native American spirits again! They asked us not to trek beneath the Rainbow Bridge but we did anyway…then shortly after the winds unexpectedly, suddenly, significantly picked up. 

The captain of our tour boat hurried to get us back to the marina but at 42 miles away from it, the engine seized in the rockiest water. The 8 of us were bouncing around helplessly in our wee motor boat, watching water spouts form around us and dust storms brew over the buttes. 

A rescue boat happened to be around the corner with a “sinking” boat in tow. Soon we too were tugging behind but the rope snapped not long after. The winds really started to pummel Lake Powell, so all the boats anchored to a floating bathroom. The call of “mayday” was loudly considered. 

A second rescue boat came along with all sorts of bad news - lost boats, impassible paths, low gas…but our captain insisted we continue. We made our way to the marina through constant back-breaking swells of 3 to 4 feet, face-numbing winds, and icey drenchings of splashed water. Our one hour trip ended up being six! 

We are now at Denny’s, ragged and worn, reflecting on one hell of a day. Did I mention Fiona was horribly food poisoned and the battery to our van died? Take it from us, respect the Navajo!!!
http://www.lakepowellrealty.net/lake-powell-movies/

This same scenery was featured in the movie John Carter of Mars. It was also captured shortly before my husband and I and our two kiwi visitors encountered the wrath of mother nature as deemed by Indian spirits. I wrote the following Facebook status the same fateful day:

I pledge to never ever challenge the native American spirits again! They asked us not to trek beneath the Rainbow Bridge but we did anyway…then shortly after the winds unexpectedly, suddenly, significantly picked up.

The captain of our tour boat hurried to get us back to the marina but at 42 miles away from it, the engine seized in the rockiest water. The 8 of us were bouncing around helplessly in our wee motor boat, watching water spouts form around us and dust storms brew over the buttes.

A rescue boat happened to be around the corner with a “sinking” boat in tow. Soon we too were tugging behind but the rope snapped not long after. The winds really started to pummel Lake Powell, so all the boats anchored to a floating bathroom. The call of “mayday” was loudly considered.

A second rescue boat came along with all sorts of bad news - lost boats, impassible paths, low gas…but our captain insisted we continue. We made our way to the marina through constant back-breaking swells of 3 to 4 feet, face-numbing winds, and icey drenchings of splashed water. Our one hour trip ended up being six!

We are now at Denny’s, ragged and worn, reflecting on one hell of a day. Did I mention Fiona was horribly food poisoned and the battery to our van died? Take it from us, respect the Navajo!!!

http://www.lakepowellrealty.net/lake-powell-movies/