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  • a happy, ordinary, middle-aged, suburban woman who paints odd pictures, gardens in a straw hat, lives with the love of her life, is owned by one cat and the ghosts of several others, and walks a little funny 'cause she has a fake leg. She started this website because there's more to life than what we lose, and we need to let each other know what's possible, even if it's only a happy, ordinary life.

November 2011

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    sara at saraarts dot com

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Good reads, grownups only

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When I lived in Tempe and occasionally refused to sit in my hot van when I could get to the university on my scooter, I had a halogen bike light that I could mount or detach from it's holder. That worked great for dark streets at night. And I was in the street much of the time because of no sidewalks or sidewalks without curb cuts.

My new scooter, which I've had maybe five years, has a built-in headlight. Fantastic. It is necessary for backing up the ramp into my vanwithout backing off the side of the ramp. Good for evening walks. Great for power outages in the house when everyone is scrambling to get backup power for my vent. At least we can see.


I think it is a combination of El Cheapo and of avoiding light pollution. New England sidewalks will always be bumpy. What with the Old Trees, Frost Heaves, and random municipal projects, I don't think I've seen a smooth patch of sidewalk more than about 5 feet square my entire life-- and I'm a native.

Penlights are a good idea, but wouldn't do me any good, since I trip on nothing, in broad daylight.


Well, I was totally with you on the post and even had a thigh clench with you described your stump clench/cramp. Then the pictures showed up, or more specifically the little comments that people who have had a bit too much of that "waccy tabbacy" start putting on their photos. I was mesmerized at this alternative dialogue about text and the colour of your flesh and your trying to copyright darkness? And does "Yo" preserve copyright?

I think there was a point to the blog for pedestrians about keys and flashlights (which is totally useless to use manual wheelies but the lights that go on your head for runners are not a bad substitute) but I was more interested in the subversive photo commentator, who felt the need to defend assertions about the picture (who said it wasn't abstract?) - which was, too enjoyable for words - but since the comments won't let me put up my own commented pictures....this is where it ends.


Lights are good. My street has plenty of lights -- not so many that it's glaringly horrible, but enough to feel safe. However there are no sidewalks. The streets parallel on either side, for some reason, do have sidewalks but mine does not, and it's kind of curvy and hilly. As I am a pedestrian commuter as well as a frequent dog walker, I find myself wearing a goofy reflective vest in the early morning and late afternoons. Yes, it looks silly, but given that I am nearly always dressed in black, I think it's a good idea. Cars drive way too fast on my little street. I do have one of those halogen lights that clip on your handlebars or whatever. I know it's somewhere around here. It's not obviously blue, but sorta bluish, and has a blink setting. I liked it for cycling, as motorists tend to notice a blinking blue light in their mirrors.

A key chain light might be more useful, though. But that thing you said about how you've got to have your keys? Hahahahaha! I've even lost the ones I hid outside in case I lock myself out. Which I do about once a week.

Maybe I should attach a spare key to Ruby's collar.


Kay, yes! Built in headlamp! Awesome! Some of us, those with the not exactly reliable memories, should probably have things implanted into our bodies like headlamps in our foreheads or housekeys in our forefingers that we could just flick a switch to reveal. But since that technology is far away, keychain pen lights and built in headlamps on our every form of transportation will just have to do. And along those lines, you will no doubt be relieved to hear that I bought new batteries for my tricycle's headlamp today. :)

BLC, I am every bit as bad and always have been. And part of the problem is that even in broad daylight I don't actually look at the ground most of the time, though I did when I was learning to walk again. But lots of our sidewalks are unpaved, and lots of areas around here, including the neighborhood where we lived when I had my leg off and where I rehabbed myself walking to work, don't have sidewalks at all, let alone bumpy, cluttered ones. So in those situations, yeah, okay, I'll watch my step -- assuming I can find the light, of course.

Thanks for your take on the reasoning behind the paucity of streetlights. As a foreigner, I am just not clued in about these things. At least where you live there are more of them.

Elizabeth, I have not partaken of that particular herb in at least 22 years. I am naturally wacky.

The thing is, especially since I've never been paid for most of the stuff I put up here (unlike things you see in magazines and other printed matter, for example, about which there is some confusion in the Land of Internet), I have to make sure everyone who searches for pictures and finds mine out of context knows that they are not free for just any use just because I stuck them on my blog and they could be found by a search engine. So I digitally watermark every single one of my images that can possibly be classified as my work and I type these dorky little copyright notices into all of them in PhotoShop. Sometimes, though, it just seems so ridiculous, so I make fun of myself or slip little messages in just to entertain myself and whoever might notice them. So far, only you and Alphabitch have ever noticed any.

The color thing is a big deal fascination for me. To color the words in these little notices, I use the eyedropper tool within the text tool in PhotoShop which shows you a little eyedropper-shaped cursor which you position over a color already within the image and then click on. Then the text will be that color. To get that pale pink, I clicked on the whitest part of my finger in that image. I thought that color would come out ecru or a very pale cream, but it's pink! It's real, live, candy-pale, suitable for Hello Kitty or gothic enjoyment pink! I thought that was astonishing and delightful.

I have a whole ever so slightly neglected project devoted to teaching people to see color -- real color, the way it really is, not the way we think it should be -- by using jigsaw puzzles. To play with it, go here. (There are only summer and fall pix there right now; someday I will throw in some winter and spring pix, too, to give a fuller sense of the true palette of a year.)

Alphabitch, I'm so glad you mentioned the vest, because that's another feature of the pen light I forgot to mention. Yes, it also makes you more visible to carry even a tiny light. Last night I was wearing black boots, black jeans, and a black Polartec jacket in, yes, pitch blackness. Clever, right? Fortunately, I had my little light, so I wasn't a total car target.

I think the idea of attaching a key to Ruby's collar is ingenious. Just remember to put it back the second you've got your door open!

I am paranoid about leaving the house without my keys because -- TMI alert -- I almost always have to use the bathroom the very second I get home. Yes I did my Kegel exercises and no I didn't ever have a baby but yes I'm middle-aged and that sadly means things just don't always stay where they're supposed to quite as long as I need them to. The idea of being locked out on the brink of such an event is truly unbearable to me, so I've gotten in the habit of not closing my front door unless I am touching my housekey in my pocket at the same moment. It's just better that way.

Er -- suddenly I find I have something I have to do. Please excuse me.


Okay colours and jigsaws - I apparently have long standing debates about what is blue v. purple (arose again tonight) but I actually have no problem with that in your pictures because for instance, in LA: Grass was brown, soil was grey, trees were dusky, leaves were brown and black, bushes were brown (I think during the drought years I lived there almost everything TRIED to be brown) - but also the way I do jigsaws is simply stare and stare and stare at the jigsaw pieces until I can tell where the colours start to blend and then simply assemble the jigsaw. This seems to drive Linda insane (Linda is a "Does this fit there....or maybe there" type of jigsaw person).


I hope the debate did not arise again because of my photo of my little flashlight, because it does look more blue in this photo than it actually is. If you saw it in person, you would immediately see that it is purple.

But, see, even in L.A., grass isn't always or usually brown, not exactly. It's yellow. Or it's grey. Or it's ecru striped with olive and rust and sepia. Shadows aren't black or grey; sometimes they're blue or purple or brown or just a darker shade of pink or whatever other color they are cast upon. Know what I mean? So when you break an image down until all the colors are just colors, totally out of context, you can see just the colors without the shape telling you what it is and therefore what color to think you should be seeing, and then when you put the pieces together, they become things, and then we rethink what's really there.

That's my theory, anyway.

elizabeth're just wierd.

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