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2006-05-08 @ 8:16 p.m.
1000 days and counting

I just happened to look at my diaryland counter today and noticed Iíve been doing this for 999.6 days. Isnít that exciting? And since I donít have the real patience to actually wait until 1000 days, since I donít know how long 4/10 of a day is (4 hours?), I thought I would do a special visual entry. Because, believe it or not, as verbose as I seem in print, for many years I was an avid photographer.

My Dad bought me my first Canon AE1 SLR camera when I was 18 and I literally took 1000ís of pictures. I published many photos, along with articles I wrote for newspapers and even had some of my photos on display at a local museum.

Unfortunately my Canon AE1 got broken. My brother then gave me a digital camera, but it only worked briefly and then croaked. Now, unfortunately, I depend solely on those little cheap throw-away cameras you get at Target. Their quality isnít great, but sometimes I can mess around with stuff in Photoshop and either save a photo, or at least make is acceptable. I can also do creative things with them, being an artist and all. So without further ado...Day almost 1000 in diaryland AND my last week in photos.

Okay, now I know you probably think Iím a total whackjob when I keep talking about The Man Who Rakes Garbage in the Creek(tm), but even as we speak, he is out in the creek doing some kind of crazy feng shui creek project with rocks because I keep hearing loud splashes. Heís been doing this for like 4 weeks now. You would think he probably GOT all the garbage cleaned out like 3 1/2 weeks ago, but now he is like re-arranging the whole path of the creek with a rake. Anyways, here is a somewhat blurry picture of him last week....

See! I told you he existed! I didnít want to stop and actually photograph him and have him see me, especially since Iím beginning to think heís kind of an OCD whackjob to be standing thigh-high in a creek for four freakiní weeks, raking garbage and rocks and sand, morning, noon and night. Heís already waving at me as it is. And to be honest, I already have enough crazy people becoming enamored with me and would like some really nice, normal people to like me. Not men who rake creeks. His name is Andrew, by the way. I just heard someone say it when they walked by my door.

The next photo is what I see when I walk out my front door. It was taken a week later and lots have things have started greening up and blooming including what I think is a big old crab apple tree. There are also four bird feeders which they put up a couple of weeks ago and the birds and squirrels have finally started discovering them. I live behind some old manufacturing place that is now shut down. The library across the street was once a furniture factory. I guess back in the 1800ís this block in the Village was largely commercial. Now, thankfully, its a nice, quiet neighborhood, other than Rake Boy throwing his rocks out in the creek and some noisy kids over across the street, who I can see from my back porch/art studio.

I do love my little screened in porch. I like that its screened because Lord knows, its like ďSpider Universe- the Horror WithinĒ here in the summer. But the porch appears to be largely bug free and I have a place for my new easel and Guard Cat gets to look out over her kingdom (i.e., the courtyard and parking lot) and observe me painting. See how sheís looking up at my painting with great interest...kinda like, hmmmm, I wonder if witty will ever actually sell one of those pieces of crap so that she could buy me lots of cat toys and some Iams cat food instead of that cheap crap she usually buys me.

This was the premiere painting I painted out in my new porch art studio studio this last week. I really wanted one more painting for my show in two weeks, so I attempted to paint something out of my Rolling Stone book. Unfortunately it didnít quite look anything like the person I wanted (Janice Joplin, circa 1968), so I got terribly frustrated. I even went further, thinking, arghhh! This doesnít even look like a girl. I hate this. I hate this. I hate this. So on the original painting, I painted out the breasts and decided to give her a sex change. Or at least a sex-denial. Because, for some reason, I got it in my head that it looked like some 80ís male rock star like a Bon Jovi or something. So I painted out the curves and took it to ďAĒ to look at. I didnít tell him the Janice Joplin part. I just said it was a male rock star. Unfortunately he didnít hear ďmaleĒ part, because he said he could still see the breasts which then had me denying it was a girl. So then I just took the damn thing home and gave her/him yet another SEX CHANGE operation, using, well, heh, someone else you know as a model, you know, since theyíve got curves (the Janice Joplin picture was too thin by this time). So now it just And Iím not surprised the person looks pissed. Iíd be too if the artist painting me didnít know what sex I was.

This next shot was Saturday over at the edge of Hamburger Island pond. I took a walk at dusk (Iíve been walking at least 1.5 miles a day for several weeks now and have lost 5 pounds. Yay me!). It was getting dark, but I kicked off my sandals by the edge of the water to take yet another shot of...Ēthe most photographed feet in the history of the universeĒ. Thanka very much. I love walking over by the pond though and that night was the first time I saw three tiny baby ducklings swimming behind their mommy. Definitely a high point for a nature lover like me.

The next day, I took my hike up around Blue Lakes, after a rather blank hour at church....

...because this is the place where I come to ďworshipĒ more or less. The woods. I love hiking and nature and the woods and how the wind blows through the newly greening trees. This particular trail veers off the main, more noisy trail and goes almost straight up. And even though Iím in relatively good shape, Iím always slightly panting by time I get to the top. Its pretty steep. But its still so worth it. The Upper Lake is so much more serene than the main lake because you rarely bump into anyone more than an occasional runner up there, compared to like 3,000 obnoxious teenagers, Golden Retrievers straining at their leashes and old grannies going like .00001 mph down below. I love it up there. I remember once I heard some branches snapping up on the hill above me and saw a coyote running along the ridge above me. I was so freakiní scared excited! Shiver.

And then thereís also a lot of other lovely nature things to look at like these purple flowers (anyone?) and ferns and fallen trees that have become habitats for various animals and....gah...spiders, probably. Iíve seen bird nests up close with little baby birds waiting for their mommies. Iíve seen fish flip out of the water up in the lake. Iíve been swarmed by like 1.6 trillion mosquitoes and black flies in the summer. But nothing will ever keep me from Blue Lakes. I think its like my most favorite spot on earth.

And then lastly, I just wanted to share a picture of my stop sign. Yes, my stop sign.

Its the one I stop at right before I get onto the main street to head to work and at the moment its nearly covered by this gorgeous deep pink flowering tree, which nearly covers it. But yet the sign is still visible. So what does the little tiny sticker say in the middle of the stop sign? ďBUSHĒ. As in ďSTOP BUSHĒ. Get it?

People here are just so darn clever in these parts, ya know?

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Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty