Woodstock On My Mind

Hello faithful readers!  I know I’ve been MIA for a few days but before I get into that, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for reading my dishes and specifically to thank you for commenting – especially on my last post.  I’m obviously someone who thinks deeply about things and I’m constantly pondering my life, the decisions I’ve made, those I have yet to make and everything in between.  Sometimes I feel like sharing and writing about what’s on my mind and sometimes I don’t.  But when I do decide to share and I get comments from you, with your stories, your support and your words of encouragement, it truly means so much to me.  It makes me feel like all this is for a reason… and maybe I’m too close to it all now to see what that reason is, but it gives me such a lift and makes me want to keep going and sharing.  So thank you… really.

Anyway, I left on Friday afternoon for a weekend away in Woodstock with some friends.  It all started back during the Woodstock Film Festival.  I had some trouble with the house we rented, and the house manager was kind enough to offer us another weekend away at a gorgeous luxury property to make it up to us.  We decided to take advantage of it this weekend.  So at around three o’clock, we piled into our friends’ old beat-up Honda Civic, “Goldie Honda” is her name, and we hit the road with puppy Lola (apparently a car puker) along for the ride.

We made it all the way to Woodstock with no doggy accidents and were eagerly anticipating our first view of the house when we took the final turn and joy… our super steep private mountain road was covered with a sheet of ice about three inches thick.  Goldie Honda wasn’t exactly feeling that.  Gunning the engine and putting the car into low gear did nothing.  So we attempted a three-point turn… again… a challenge when you’re on a steep hill covered in solid ice.  The car did some sideways sliding down the hill (I’ve seriously never seen anything like it) – but we were finally able to turn around and get back down to some flat ground, where we could build up some momentum again.  We made one more failed attempt at the hill, then retreated, defeated and hungry.   We had chains in the trunk, but none of us knew how to put them on and it was getting really dark, so we decided to go into town, get some groceries and a flashlight, figure out how to put the chains on in the grocery store parking lot and then we’d go back and tackle the hill once again.

Unfortunately, that idea didn’t go so smoothly either.  As we drove into town, the car started acting up and was no longer switching gears.  We literally coasted into a grocery store parking lot in neutral.  Now Goldie Honda seemed to be dead.  We had all our luggage with us, we were hungry, we had little Lola puppy with us so we couldn’t eat dinner in a restaurant and we hadn’t even seen our beautiful house yet!!  Thus, plan B was put into effect.  I called Woodstock Taxi service and spoke to a guy on the phone who made everything seem ok.  I told him what happened and asked him if he had four-wheel drive.  He said he knew about cars and claimed he wasn’t worried – he’d made it up every mountain road in town before.  He was confident he’d get us up that hill.

He arrived twenty minutes later in a piece of crap old mini van with over three hundred thousand miles on it.  It was making whining noises.  We were not confident.  We drove back up that windy mountain road and when we got to the steep part, he gunned that mini van engine and up, up, up we went until… nope.  He couldn’t make it either.  Now he’s cursing and we’re out of luck.  It became clear that no car was getting up that hill so we did what we had to do.  We unloaded the van – through the front – so as not to be smooshed by the van sliding backwards down the hill, and we hoofed our luggage up until we arrived at driveway number ninety.  Sheesh.

Considering all the drama, we were all in fairly good spirits, so we cooked up our frozen burgers (eh) and immediately switched into party mode – wine, Scotch and rummy 500.  Way to make lemonade right?

The next day we found out that Goldie Honda was indeed dead so we made the arrangements to donate her and we took a taxi to Kingston to rent an SUV with four-wheel drive!  The rest of the weekend went much more smoothly – lots of rummy 500, some cheese fondue (Comte, Gruyere and a local Colby) and some nice Woodstock chill time.  Unfortunately, by the time we actually got to slow down and relax it was pretty much time to turn around and head back.  But hey… it was an adventure!

Here are my long overdue photos from the last five days:

Photo 328 out of 365 – “The Birds”

"The Birds" - Settings: ISO 400, f/11, 1/320 sec, 50mm lens

On 7th street in the East Village, there is a big family of birds that hang out on the roof of one of the buildings and every few minutes, they all take off and fly around in unison a few times and then land again.  It’s crazy.  I’ve actually taken a bunch of photos of them in action and I plan to do a series of three images – maybe with some funky sky colors in the background?  Anyway, someone told me that the birds are sort of cared for by this man who has lived in the neighborhood for years and years and he is the one who trained them to fly around like that.  I don’t know if it’s true… but it seems just crazy enough to be true in this neighborhood.

Photo 329 out of 365 – “Oh No Lola”

"Oh No Lola" - Settings: ISO 6400, f/2.5, 1/30 sec, 85mm lens

I took this the night of all our car drama.  This is little Lola – you’ve seen her in previous posts.  Now Lola would never do anything wrong… she’s a little angel pup.  But in this photo doesn’t it look like she’s done something bad and she’s about to get scolded?

Photo 330 out of 365 – “Retro Basement”

"Retro Basement" - Settings: ISO 1600, f/4.5, 1/80 sec, 50mm lens

This is a sweet basement that belongs to a work colleague of Adam’s.  We went to visit his place in Woodstock and his basement is pimped out straight from the seventies!  Gotta love disco balls.  Sexy.

Photo 331 out of 365 – “Intimidating Adam”

"Intimidating Adam" - Settings: ISO 640, f/2, 1/400 sec, 50mm lens

I took this picture of Adam as my first homework assignment for my portraiture class.  I had to take two portraits of the same person.  One was supposed to make the subject appear powerful, strong and aggressive.  The other, was supposed to make the subject appear docile and vulnerable.  Adam was my model.  Here’s the vulnerable one:

"Vulnerable Adam" - Settings: ISO 640, f/2, 1/400 sec, 50mm lens

And finally…

Photo 332 out of 365 – “Fur and Fleece”

"Fur and Fleece" - Settings: ISO 200, f/3.5, 1/60 sec, 50mm lens

Yesterday I was standing behind this woman, waiting to cross the street at Astor Place.  I pretty much always want to take pictures of old people.  There’s something about them that inspires me.  And this woman was no different.  She looked so proud and capable – walking by herself in her fur coat and this bright-colored fleece scarf around her head.  I’m glad I caught her – even if just from the side/back.

So that’s all for tonight folks!  Private Parts is on and I’m going to go flop on the couch.  Hope everyone had a good weekend!

PS… what do you think of the new design?  I thought it was time to spice things up a bit!  I’d love to hear your feedback!

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