Tuesday, October 4, 2011

30 Day Photography Challenge - Bokeh?

I leaned into the side by side Hotpoint and aimed the blow dryer at the thick layer of frost and ice coating the back of the freezer and thought of my mother. A memory of her standing in front the avocado green fridge aiming the vintage light blue metal blow dryer at the freezer and muttering about being electrocuted.

I've electrocuted myself a number of times so that part of the adventure isn't as glamorous as it once was. As an aside, please note that if you ever see an article written by me about how to rewire lamps, understand it's a humor piece.

While I watched the water melt and trickle down the freezer's sides, I remembered how we used to take cups and scrape the ice from the inside of the freezer to eat like Freon flavored snow cones because we couldn't  figure out how to turn Kool Aid into syrup. Not for a lack of trying, mind you, but the failed attempts always ended with ice scrapings melting into red or purple puddles in the bottom of our cups.

You could probably draw some conclusions about why I am the way I am based on the knowledge that I used to eat ice scrapings from the freezer.

Well, now that I would know exactly how to make snow cone flavoring (simple syrup + Kool Aid powder), I'm past the age where I'd find joy in scraping the frost from the freezer and spooning it into my mouth. (Please believe this!)

Timing is everything.

Why am I prattling on about this? I was going through an exercise hoping that I'd remember what I was thinking about writing as I defrosted the freezer. I thought if I put myself back in that place, I might remember what I wanted to write, but was too busy not electrocuting myself to stop and write down before it got crowded out.

And guess what? It worked!

Bokeh means blurry in the photography patois and so I give you this:

If you enlarge the photo (taken on my drive back from visiting Chloe), you'll see the reflection of Betty MacDonald's The Egg and I. I'm a ridiculously slow reader, taking weeks to finish a book. As such, I've been schlepping poor Betty and her eggs around for a couple of weeks. In case you didn't guess, I take a book with me wherever I go. You never know when you're going to need one. They're useful props for social situations allowing one to to not engage with others, for self entertainment, for swatting aggressive bees, and just in case one ever needs to MacGuyver oneself out of a dire situation. Worst case scenario, you have something to read until the factory you're locked in implodes in a planned demolition.

One of the things I've been doing to keep from losing my damn mind during this long work drought is to try to look at things from different perspectives. One way I've done this is by writing my novel from different points of view. Another thing I've found useful is to take a step back and shift the focus of how I internally narrate what's going on. For example, I wasn't laid off and have been unable to find work, but instead, so the new narrative goes, I'm transitioning careers from la di da association executive to being a published writer. Throw in a long stint as a passive aggressive hausfrau and you pretty much have the picture blurry though it may be.

And as long as I can remind myself that nothing I do is as difficult as what Betty MacDonald had to do on that chicken ranch, I know I'm going to be all right.

At Randal's place, you get the blame.

I love what Summer did with Bokeh.

UPDATED:  Geoffrey goes in another direction.


  1. That photo looks troo kvlt. I'll take a blue snow cone, hold the mullet.

  2. the grim statistic: 1 of every 100 Americans is in jail or prison.

    The problem of being in the group of 99, there are lots of prisions without bars and jailers. Perversely, we are often our own jailer.

  3. That transition has been a long time coming. Well done. Now put down the damn hair dryer and go write something amazing.
    It's. Your. Job.

  4. So funny, I just posted on a memory of Mom and pilfering some leftover goodies in the kitchen :).

    Lisa, your day will come.


  5. That photo is AWESOME! Oh and I never knew how to make snow cone flavoring. I want to try it now LOL

    P. S. You are hilarious! I LOVE your blog and am adding it to my blogroll :)

  6. What a beautiful tribute to the color orange.

    Orange is my husband's favorite color. When I first met him and discovered this, I admit that I thought, "How strange. I never even thought of orange as a color that would be someone's favorite." Everyone else is blues and reds and greens and (finger pointed squarely at self) purples. But orange? I see the beauty in it now. A rich, cheerful color with complexity.

    Also, now I want pumpkin pie and candy corns. Blerg.

  7. I obviously posted my comment on the wrong blog post. But I stand by it. ORANGE!

  8. I wish I could describe my love of bokeh but nothing I put into words would ever come close. Reading this post it just occurred to me how much I love hearing about your childhood. Your voice, your stories, your humor are all so unique. Toward this end of seeing things differently, allow me to ask a question I'm surprised I've never asked you before and if I have I'm sorry but I'm old. Have you ever thought about going the road of memoir? I wouldn't be surprised if you whipped yours up in a matter of days. I'm just sayin'...

  9. Something my dad did teach me was how to rewire a lamp, so if you ever need that done I'm your girl. The only other electric powered device I could also fix was my sewing machine until, in it's 43rd year, the motor seized up. There were no replacements available.

    Am I mistaken in thinking all refrigerators are frost-free? I haven't used the hair dryer option in a long time but I do remember the pans of hot water.

    I was expecting to see a bokeh of flowers :-)

  10. Lisa,

    Because of this blog entry I just finished 'The Egg and I'. I loved it...and I love your blog too!

    Kristen from MN

  11. Hi, Kristen! Thank you for letting me know. I'm so glad you enjoyed The Egg and I. What a great book!

    And thanks for letting me know you enjoy the blog. That's always really nice to hear.



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