With Sunny Delight fall weather still on our horizon, my pal Ms Eileen and I decided it would be fun to grab our cameras and tromp around a pumpkin patch or two this weekend. By the time we dragged ourselves away from investigating farm machinery, though, there wasn’t enough light for my little point-and-shoot to capture field-plucked produce.


Luckily, a quick handover of—and tutorial on—Ms E’s fancy Nikon gave me the chance to grab a few thematic shots as dusk fell.

At first, I felt a bit remorseful about my pumpkin neglect. But having spent the last few months breaking off pieces of my personality and (alleged) skill set so that I could recombine the chunks to suit a variety of needs, is it any wonder I got caught up by items redolent of some-assembly-required?

…the parts which create the whole can be precise, organic, or—especially as age takes its toll—an intriguing and rather high-maintenance mixture of both…


(top to bottom: The sum of an old farm truck’s parts add up to plenty of charm; A meet-and-greet lasts but moments; ferris wheel-esque farm machinery; a pumpkin-wielding Ms Eileen amongst the mums; sunlight catches the curves on farm machinery at rest; diagonal grooves wrap around a steel rod)

O how I love thee, Crest Advanced Seal Whitestrips

Even for me, this is a lowbrow post.


Part of being Ms Eileen’s guinea pig while she hones her portraits o’ people means seeing lots of very…unfortunate…shots of myself. Experimental lighting can only be blamed for so much, and sadly it can’t explain the lack of Tyra-Banks-approved FIERCENESS in frame after frame. And knowing that Tyra would be disappointed hurts my heart.

However, unexpectedly, the OTHER part of being Ms Eileen’s guinea pig means seeing how truly awesomely-and-coincidentally whitened my feral chompers look even in the worst shots.

“And [sob] I owe it all to Crest Advanced Seal Whitestrips!”

I don’t have before shots, but trust me my daily coffee habit had taken its toll. Of course now I’m a little afraid I might have a daily CASW habit.

Ms Eileen's gorgeous, flattering lighting + the perfect, rare-for-me not too little/not too big (whitened) smile = I will try to pass off this photo as current until I am 95

I’ve used other Crest and Generic Brand whitestrip products in the past, but whoa CASW are the bee’s knees. Professional whitening and I have never crossed paths, so I suppose that’s still the ne plus ultra. But I’m impressed with my downhome enhancement.

[And with how damn good my scarf looks there. Go Marshalls!]

Even in Lovely-But-Not-The-Alltime-Most-Flattering-Lighting-Ever, my fangs are almost as gleam-y as my cardiwrap:

Ms Eileen documents my ferocious canines (no wonder vegetarianism holds little appeal)

Now if I could just handle drinking coffee through a straw and switch to white wine, I’d be set for life. In the meantime, I’ll have to let CASW be the grit to my oyster.

Upshot: Will stockpile. But right now there are still plenty of plastic strips to go around.

Note: No monies have been given for the writing of this post.  Product purchased by me…and I didn’t even have a stinkin’ coupon. [retail price: ~  $32/14 treatments]

Blue + Green should always be seen

Being an innately lazy, slapdash person, it’s quite annoying and a rather terrible burden to have friends who are always teaching themselves new tricks. I’ve debated whether I should hold their continual self-improvement against them, but I’m just so gosh darn tender-hearted that I can’t begrudge them their drive. And because opposites attract, I’m especially enthralled by my pals who are super-methodical about taking on new challenges.

Exhibit A, the assidous Ms Eileen.

Having reached a point where she feels comfortable photographing landscapes and objects, she’s decided to immerse herself in portraiture. Though she’d never say as much, I think she’s discovering that the downside of portraiture is that one requires people. People who are apt to be more outcome-oriented than a spray of cymbidium (and often significantly less charming).

While most of her willing guinea pigs let her get on with things, I took a more hands-on approach to logistical matters when we met up a couple of weeks ago. Luckily for me Ms Eileen is a game collaborator—so much so that she allowed me to play free-range chicken with some of her resulting images. Does the Her eye/My eye combination create as winning a mix as the featured colors? The bar sits pretty high, but I’d like to think so.

…Ms Eileen let me deconstruct her portraits so I could better tell one of my favorite stories…a story rounded out with a few images from my collection…

(Ms Eileen’s shots top, middle, and bottom: A favorite ruffled scarf amidst native grasses; a shawl made up of swirling blues and greens; birds of a blue-green feather flock together. My shots: A serpentine mosaic in San Diego’s Balboa Park; Hanalei’s Wai`oli Hui`ia Church)