Good morning and greetings, January Jones fans. Yes, the first decade of the new millenium, much like my quick first step on the basketball floor, is now history. And like the season finale of “Sons of Anarchy,” I wanted our first sacrificial offering for 2010 something special. And I believe if you click on this week’s photos, in the words of my personal choice for man of the decade, George W. Bush, “Mission Accomplished.”
A few years ago, when I started to devote my early morning/late afternoon life to this sunrise/sunset obsession, an idea floated thru my mind like a Karch Kiraly set at match point. After seeing a book displaying a year’s worth of sunsets shot from the Oakland hills starring the Golden Gate Bridge, I thought to myself, what about a book featuring sunrises from all 50 states? How stars and stripish would that be?
Then I thought to myself, that’s too much territory to cover, and besides, I’m exhausted just going to the bank and CVS, so like a garter snake, I scaled the project back and thought, why don’t I just do the western states? Sunrises from Albuquerque, Boulder and Tucson, kind of a Diana Ross, “Ain’t No Mountain High” theme. But then I thought, I need to take a nap after trekking thru the gigantic new Safeway on the westside, so out went New Mexico, Hannah Montana and sweet home Arizona. Kind of the less is more school of thought.
So, in moving ahead with this mental menagerie of early morning imagery, I settled on the idea of dawnbusters from just the Golden State. Yeah, that’s the ticket, sunrises from up and down the coast of California. And maybe we’ll throw in a little Death Valley, Squaw Valley and in keeping with my new totally organic vegan lifestyle, a couple of Nature Valley granola bars.
But then I thought, it’s an awfully large state, and for sunrise workers the day ends absurdly early, so I thought, forget the whole state, we’ll stick with northern California. But then I thought of all the wear and tear of driving up and down the Pacific Coast Highway, so I got down to the Pigeon Point and thought, let’s just focus on sunrises and sunsets from Santa Cruz County. But then I thought, can I really handle the pressure of driving to the eastside or Capitola in the morning? Why don’t I just stick with my eminent domain and photograph sunrises from Lighthouse Point and West Cliff Drive.
And that, boys and squirrels, is where we find ourselves today. Somebody call Maria, it’s a Westside Story. My ambition runneth over.
That brings us to today’s photographic extravanganza. To start off the new year we are jetting from the coast to one of Moses’ favorite locations, Palm Desert, where there was no burning bush but where I burned everytime I heard the name George Bush. My digital mission was to part my own reddish Sea while bringing down ten commandments, or at least six photographs that were worthy of this cyber jury.
During my holiday tour of duty, where I ate like a ravenous shetland pony, I witnessed droves of exotic desert clouds, two spectacular sunrises, one fabulous sunset, one surprise rainbow, two turtle doves and a Partridge Family in a pear tree. Today’s entree, which comes with your choice of soup or salad, is a sunrise from the final week of December. I shot it on the back nine of the golf course at the lovely Palm Valley Country Club, where I spent ten rigorous days of hot tubbing, movie watching, pleasure reading and snacking like Orson Welles on Jenny Craig. There was no smoke on the water, but there was definitely fire in the sky.
Palm Desert is east of Palm Springs, about an two hour drive from the City of Angels, which for you Dodger fans is Los Angeles. It’s located in the Coachella Valley, which is surrounded by the San Jacinto mountains, which change color throughout the day, depending on cloud cover and the daily special at Sherman’s Deli, with two convenient locations for you fresh rye bread, hot corn beef and stuffed cabbage fans. I believe the group America summed up the desert experience best back in 1972 with the words, “I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name. It felt good to get out of the rain.”
So let’s catch up on the late night action. “There are a lot of holiday parties coming up at the White House. Obama is getting ready to host the Administration’s first Hanukkah party tomorrow. Kind of an embarrassing moment, though. Today, after they lit the menorah, Biden blew it out and made a wish.” –Jimmy Fallon “During an interview last night, Oprah Winfrey asked President Obama what grade he would give himself for his first year in office and he said a ‘B-plus.’ Then, Oprah shook her head and said, ‘I didn’t pay for a B-plus.’” –Conan O’Brien “Big day for President Obama. He accepted his Nobel Prize today and then got right back to the business of running two wars.” –David Letterman President Obama’s daughter Sasha says that she already bought her dad’s gift. She won’t say what it is but she did say, ‘It’s something he likes.’ Which begs the question: How did an 8-year-old get her hands on a carton of Marlboro Lights?” –Conan O’Brien
“Computer technicians in Washington say they have found 22 million missing emails from President George W. Bush’s Administration. And you can tell the emails are from the Bush Administration because they all begin, ‘Dear Santa. According to a new poll that just came out, 44 percent of Americans wish President Bush were back in office. However it’s only 20 percent if you exclude comedy writers. Former President Bush is writing his memoirs and he says they will focus on 12 major decisions he made in his life. The weird thing is, 11 of them were made by Dick Cheney. Former President Bush is currently working on his memoirs and he said he’s completed about 85 percent. His exact quote was, ‘I’m halfway done.’” –Conan O’Brien
“A man in Minnesota was arrested on Monday for trying to throw tomatoes at Sarah Palin during a book signing. Luckily, Palin was able to shoot them out of the air” –Seth Meyers
“It sure is cold. So cold that Osama bin Laden was seen hiding in the border region between Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.” –David Letterman “The wife of Al Qaeda’s second in command is now calling on women to become suicide bombers. To qualify, they must be able to push a car loaded with explosives, because, as you know, women aren’t allowed to drive over there.” –Jay Leno “In China, an animal trainer taught his monkeys Kung fu — and then they attacked him using his best kung fu moves. Luckily, they were no match for the parrot he’d taught to fire a gun.” –Conan O’Brien
So, resolution fans, that’s our first blast of the New Year. I hope everyone had a somewhat relaxing and enjoyable holiday, as this was a difficult time for many families throughout our nation. As for myself, I’ve been shooting away like Annie Leibowitz in bankrupcty court and the six pics photo features are now lined up in my computer like jets sitting on the runway at LAX. So much like Kobe Bryant fans and LeBron James lovers, we have a lot to look forward to this year. So get ready for the NFL playoffs and we’ll catch you in running the deep post pattern. Aloha, mahalo and later, Philip Rivers fans.