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such a mess

1941 chevrolet special deluxe convertible

1941 chevrolet special deluxe convertible

brother and his wife were in town this past week. each day, as soon as i walked in the door from work, the wife would put me to work clearing junk out of the garage and attic. she’s a teacher, and very used to bossing people around.

finally had to start telling her i needed a moment, i just got off work, lemme eat something. junk can wait.

she didn’t realize how traumatic it was going to be for my mom, clearing the clutter, and filling two big junk trucks and a dumpster with stuff, and it barely put a dent in the garage junk. there’s still another attic to do as well.

the stuff is useless, but mom still would pick through the trash bags and pull out arbitrary items. i doubt she needs video 8, beta or vhs tapes of the gulf war or some cartoon my kids used to watch, but they’re sitting upstairs in her bedroom now. maybe it’s that the sticker has my dad’s handwriting on them. i think the players for them already went into the trash, or otherwise didn’t work and went into the trash.

was a battle of wills clearing out the pantry of out of date food items dad had bought over the years, and promptly forgot about. he used to eat stuff no one else would touch—oysters, anchovies, sardines, pickled pig parts, etc.—and yet she wanted to keep stuff in case anyone ever asked for it. i had to ask her how often a guest would arrive and ask if she had any prince albert in a can? never, but she doesn’t want to waste anything. well finally said, stuff is way out of date, and you wouldn’t even be able to donate it to a food pantry, so it needed to go.

sure, we’re disturbing her comfort zone. all this could wait another decade until she’s gone, but we’re trying to make some room, make it safer, make it her own.

took a few days of her in tears, and cussing—which she doesn’t do—for her to mourn her lost stuff. sister-in-law has said she is done, and probably won’t be back. she’s on her plane home by now.

my brother stayed behind, so they are still emptying stuff from the garage attic. his find for the day so far was my dr suess lunchbox from first grade.

i’m in whittier, for what seems my weekly cry. somehow we end up talking memories of my dad, so then the tears come again. it’s ok.

better half got out in the morning and got half his shopping done. i should be able to be home a little more often while my bro is staying with my mom. she was telling me the other day that she is perfectly fine being left on her own, but, when i called her earlier, she asked if i was coming back tomorrow. and she isn’t on her own.

looks like it wants to rain, and usually looking out this window, i’ll see old cars driving by; not one has noisily rumbled by today. we’re also in the flight path for LAX, but the planes must be coming in from the other direction—not seeing those either—and they would typically be coming in low, under the clouds on a day like this.

good car shows coming up. already booked a hotel for chicano park show. wonder if my bro will still be around, so he could go with me; doubt my mom will. padres are in town that weekend too; hoping to hit up a ball game while i’m there.

looking at the calendar, and some days have several shows. flip a coin, throw a dart, pull a show from a hat…need to decide somehow and get out and shoot.

shot this car at last year’s whittier uptown show. early. best early. the light and no crowds yet. and no heat…some years get so dang hot, i can’t even get around to all the cars before i start to feel ill. not tolerating it well anymore.

almost like they purposely parked that red car under those red banners for a reason…so color coordinated.

cornfeed run

1942 chevy special deluxe

1942 chevy special deluxe

early light makes getting out of bed in the dark worth the trip. out to chino, for the cornfeed run. heard they had maxed out at eight hundred cars, and were turning them away. saw quite a few random, beautiful cars parked on the residential streets because of that.

better than last year, when it was overcast and started to sprinkle.

when the sun gets going, you really just have to get in front of a car and start shooting, or it's gone. this will do.

i think i was there for about four and a half hours, before i started to overheat, and felt the need to chug a bottle of water and get something to eat.

really only went around to all the route of cars and parking lots once this time. the light changed, and it wasn't fun anymore.

pretty sure i'm going to need to get a new ball head for my tripod pretty soon. i've pretty much worn it out, and it's a bit on the loose side. so, one camera repair, one new ball head—time to dip into the rainy day money, i guess.

early bird gets...

1956 chevrolet bel air

1956 chevrolet bel air

...the shot.

one more for today. for the one guy that came over to talk to me briefly, and pointed out his car and one next to it...his brother's or cousin's, i can't remember. i suppose i should put that one up too.

it was a spectacular sunrise, so this shot was more interesting than the other direction. didn't quite catch the slightly earlier, more reddish and colorful sky, as i couldn't find and decide on a single car in a good position to catch it in time.

new day

1948 chevy fleetline

1948 chevy fleetline

sitting in the dark, waiting for my workday to start. contemplating the next few days.

my daughter is coming down to visit for the next couple of weeks, with her boy toy and one of her dobermans.  she's leaving the albino one back at home. trying to find a new home for it...if you're interested in an untrained, unhousebroken sweet rescue dog, let me know.

i have a few doctor appointments coming up, so hoping to figure out whatever my issues are. hoping it will be just a take this pill and you'll be just fine, but that's probably too easy a fix. 

at least it's relatively quiet at work. rare couple of weeks that i'm not busting my ass juggling projects. it won't last, so trying to enjoy that. have had to shoot several portrait/headshots, which mostly have turned out ok. will need to get a roll of gray background paper on the xmas list, and a dedicated room to set up some lighting...just making do for the time being.

people just don't sit still looking pretty, like a car, so it's been a bit challenging for me. different camera settings, with a camera i'm not completely familiar with. it's all good. keep learning, i guess. 


last few shows i've been to. have chosen different times of day, just for the challenge of pushing the camera to see what i see. mostly i get sunrise shots, like this one, because i'm out trying to get the pictures before the sun brings the heat.  

slightly easier than the evening shots, where the camera settings just have to get dialed up to where i can still get an image and not have it too noisy without a flash, or the exposure so long, that people tend to just walk through the shot thinking you're not doing anything. 

this picture kind of has an african plain feeling, but those porta-potties kind of ruin for me. 

piece by piece

chevy master deluxe

chevy master deluxe

so i went out to this show last weekend, after not having been out anywhere for a month. it was good, i had fun. i also did something to my knee.

don't think it's a sprain, more of a strain. i felt it when it happened...not a snap, more like a slip of something, when i was standing back up from a crouch on a low shot. i can still walk and stuff, but if i bend it too far, or have to get on the floor to look in a low cabinet or what have you, oh that does not feel good.

hoping to get to two local shows this weekend, one being just up the street. perhaps it means no low angles, but as long as it doesn't get in the way of pulling my gear. not even going to think about my arms and their inexplicable soreness. maybe i'm getting arthritis, but happening suddenly, over the last few weeks, i doubt it.

saw this car, just as the sun was trying to burn through the clouds. no idea if it was found this way, or was 'aged' for advertising purposes. still sort of cool as it is.

merry go round

1949 chevy deluxe

one thing after another around here lately. sort of a carousel.

one emergency over, another to worry about in the next week or so. being ambiguous. i like that word. more mysterious than just saying anything directly. if you know what i'm talking about, you're on the inside, if you don't, it's not important that you do.

didn't have the energy to go to any car shows today, nor probably this weekend, though i badly wanted to be there. maybe next year. big shows next week...definitely next week. that can be my mantra, no matter what happens this week.

you do miss me when i'm gone, don't you? nah, i'm more successful at being the fly on the wall, quietly walking through your life, shooting pictures of your cars. you probably haven't noticed.

saw this car sitting down at the end of the parking lot. dude sitting inside, talking on the phone to someone. he didn't appear to be in a hurry to get inside the show. i do not remember the half of the conversation that i might have overheard, but i'm going with he couldn't decide whether it was worth it, or if his friends were going to show up.

it really was a lightly attended show this year, so not sure that i'd blame him.


1948 chevy stylemaster

appropriate signage, no? i'll add this to my annual review goals: work hard and get me a stylish old chevy. think they'd go for it? nah. but they might be interested in this picture if the little in-house photo competition actually happens, unless they make me be a judge. then i couldn't participate, right?

i'm kinda thinking i got better shots out in the parking lot than inside on the grass. mostly because i got the early morning light here versus later, harsher light. pfft. it happens. i say i got lucky; better half says the more i shoot, the luckier i get. 

i've shot this car elsewhere, but i do kinda like this one now. and if i shoot it again in the future, i'll probably like that one better too. 

limping my way through two more weeks until vacation. though the time off i have scheduled this month for vacation and business trips will make me miss a few of my favorite annual car shows.  that part sucks, that and traveling without my better half; hoping to spend some time with my brothers, so i guess that will make up for things somewhat.

dead president's day

1946 chevy fleetline

had things i absolutely had to do today. different circumstances would have had me at la puente park, shooting cars, of course, but things were 'beyond my control,' so i wasn't.

this weekend was sort of messed up, and it's almost over. holiday weekend blew by. thinking i might have to reschedule a vacation, which kinda sucks, or see if my bro wants to go somewhere, which could be fun.

made it to one show, but this shot is from last month's pomona swap meet. just liked the mood of it for some reason. it spoke to me, and said post me, so i did.

i got nuthin really to talk about, and it's back to work tomorrow, so i should probably end it here.

so chill

1950 chevy deluxe

arrived later than i'd wanted to, but better half needed to take a shower to wake up, and dry his long locks first. i, on the other hand, rolled out of bed, dressed and was basically good to go. glad i've let my hair grow out, and don't really have to waste time doing any fancy styling like when it is shorter; never holds a curl anyway. just brush it and it is what it is, but at least i can tie back when it blows in my face.

within minutes of walking up to the corner where the line of cars were parked waiting for the gates to open, he was freezing his nalgas off, and he left, headed home, to a warm house, and xmas stuff to do.

i, on the other hand, distracted myself from the weather, deciding which way to go--left or right down the street--and got to shooting. i went left, heading to the seemingly neverending line of cars...more were arriving every few minutes.

shot as far as this chevy before turning around. the reflection was right, the sky was cloudy, the sun was up a decent amount, palm trees and the arena building. busy enough picture without the next couple of cars...vw bugs...not what i was looking for. nice, but nah.

morning light is pretty, and if i can catch it hitting the shine of the paint just so, it makes me happy. i do need to remember to slow down, and really get the camera focused, not race the sun so much. there's always another show, another morning to try again.


1949 chevy truck

we got to the showlows' volo show at st hilarys last saturday, before the sun came up. even though roll in was still an hour or two away, can usually catch a clubs' cars way early, and when you're after that gentle morning light, they are the best shots of the day sometimes.

but in the tumult that was our saturday afternoon, running about getting things done and packed for our trip, i only had time to download my pictures, stack them, tag them, and randomly pick one. so this truck is it for now, until we get back home.

i've seen it around before, on other peoples' instagrams, and they drove past the house recently, but i don't think i have it in my files.

the sun was already up by the time i got over here. i was looking at cars, and trying to catch them as the golden light hit them.

there was stuff on the other side of this truck, but i really liked the sun peeking through the window, as well as all the patina detail from this side. its a rough looking truck, but very cool.

we arrived early in san diego yesterday, about eight in the morning. had to drive, instead of taking a train this time, since they are not running trains next weekend for bridge repairs somewhere on the line. oh well. don't really need a car in town, but gives more flexibility depending what we want to do or when we want to leave.

we've stayed at this hotel before, and the lady at the front desk remembered us. told her we're here for our anniversary, so she did her best to get us a room as soon as possible. found one that was vacant, but not cleaned yet, and got housekeeping on the phone to ask them to get to it first.

we were in a room by nine, and sleeping by ten. three hours later, we woke up and headed over to the old spreckels theatre. i'd gotten tickets to see "the producers" on the stage, and needed to get them from will call. doors weren't open yet, so we went to horton plaza for some "gourmet" fine dining at taco bell. it was quick, and we were hungry, so don't judge.

back down to the theatre, still about twenty minutes until doors opened. decided i'd go take a wazz, so maybe i wouldn't have to stand in the long line at intermission. guy at the info booth said there were bathrooms on the fourth floor.

now, if you're not familiar with the spreckels theatre, it's an old building. built in nineteen twelve for a million dollars. theatre on the first floor and offices on the upper floors. we took the old elevator up, and get out, like stepping back in time. frosted glass windowed, empty offices up and down the white tiled hallways, the kind you'd expect to find a private eye in old black and white movies, with gold lettering painted on the glass.

i guess he sent us up to the fourth floor, because there is randomly a bail bondsman office there. we wandered around the hallways, which seemed to follow the perimeter of the building, with a central corridor. we split up, looking for the bathrooms. i found the mens room on one side, he found the women's on the opposite side of the building. it's fairly echoey with all the hexagonal tiling, and marble stairwells, so he yelled that he'd found it.

took care of business, and we took the stairwell down four flights. theatre was open by then, so in we went.

hour and a half later, it was intermission. out to stretch our legs. there's a line for candy, and a line for the bathroom, as expected. decided i'd be more comfortable if i got rid of that pepsi from lunch, but didn't want to wait in that horrifically long line.

noticed the marble stairs next to the elevators. wondered if there might be bathrooms up a level. no one stopped us, so up we went. figured they would be located at the same ends of the halls as the other floor. walking around, we realized there was no one on this floor. just locked, empty or closed business offices.

better half waits in the hallway, and i open the old frosted glass door to the women's room. there's an open window, with a view of a rooftop, which must be the top of the theatre and it must be some empty atrium-like space to the sky that the hallways go around.

the facilities in the restroom aren't the original porcelain, but the stalls themselves probably are. i choose the farthest of the three, and pull the door shut. it doesn't want to close well, kind of is jammed, not quite fitting into the frame. i don't know why i pulled it fully shut, grabbing it from the top of door, in order to lock it by turning the little brass knob--there was no one else on this floor--but i did. dropped trou, did what you do, and stood back up.

go to open the stall door, and it doesn't budge. there's just the tiny brass handle to pull on, so, for a better grip, i pull from the top of the door, same place that i had forced it shut. it doesn't move. i think maybe its still locked; i can't remember if i turned the latch, or if i did, there's no mark indicating opened or closed.

i lean over to try pulling it from the bottom, but then think, if its stuck that hard, and i manage to pull it open while bent down, i'll bash myself in the head with this old, solid wood door. that would be a pretty dumbass move, wouldn't it? so instead i see if i can reach from both top and bottom of the door and give it a few pulls. nope, this door is wedged shut, and i'm not going anywhere, since it opens inward and i don't have leverage.

thinking we're the only people on this floor, i decided i could just call to my better half, to come in and save me, and we could be out before anyone might notice, should anyone randomly come up the stairs, and catch us coming out of the bathroom together.

i called him. i called him again. hmmm. it echoes off the tile. nothing. i'm not going to all out scream, i'll save that for real danger. looking down, notice the floor is relatively clean, since it isn't overly used. mentally calculating if there's enough space under the door vs enough space between the door and the toilet, and decide i will try to get down and shimmy under the door.

so that's what i did, feet first, sliding on my ass, pulling myself under the door. don't think i've ever had to do that before, not even as a kid. check that off my bucket list, i guess.

standing up, looking at the door, i notice the old brass inset shows "occupied." its locked, so no use pushing the door. thought about going back under to unlock it for about half a second, then said, nah, gotta get back downstairs. dusted off my pants, washed my hands, and opened the door to the hallway, and where is my better half?

he'd made use of the wait to call his mom, and has walked down to the other end of the hallway, chatting away about the show. never heard me call him. told him my story as we went down the stairs, and laughed about it all the way to our seats. at least i didn't have to wait in the line, which still had anxious women waiting to "freshen up," snaking out the door.

btw, it was a very good show. excellent acting and singing, but not enough air conditioning, so the main actors were sweating right through their suits.