Good morning and greetings, late February fans. Well, time continues to fly by. Days, months, years, TV seasons just seem to go by faster and faster as I get older. Having children really gives you a sense of how quickly time goes. One day you’re pushing them on a swing, and then the next they’re pushing their lawyer to file emancipation papers. As writer Oscar Wilde noted, “Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes, they forgive them.” It’s statements like that which harken me back to my son’s first question, “Daddy, what’s a beneficiary?”
The reason I bring up the subject of time is that this post is my 365th. What this means is that once a day, over a period of time it takes for Oprah to orbit the sun, I have sat down on my computer, clicked the publish key, and voila, six photos and approximately 1,500 words have appeared on the screen due to my compliance. And I admit, when I first view the new post, it’s still a thrill, like striking out the last batter, hitting a game-winning jumper or figuring out how to add an attachment to my email.
So you might ask, Geoff, why do you continue to do it, why spend your precious time writing a somewhat humorous blog when you could be spending life’s precious moments on something more important, like trying to figure out how you ended up with all this free time in the first place. Well, that is something I don’t want to delve into, an underworld of thoughts that best remains buried as deep as the Oakland Raiders were in the final standings this year. Suffice to say that maybe God put me on his good green earth to spread a little cheer in a time of when we could certainly use a laugh, chuckle or a big tax return.
I can say with complete conviction that these words have brought joy to some, or one, as I had my mother write down her praise and had the document notarized. There’s an old Jewish proverb that says, “God couldn’t be everywhere, so he created mothers.” I thought that’s why he created TV. Or as the fabulous Phyllis Diller once said, “I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. And then I want to move in with them.”
So now you might be wondering, (that is, if you’re still reading,) have I learned anything from these five plus years of posting a photo blog into cyber space, allowing the free world to experience the river of thoughts that circulate through my mind? Yes, I have. For one thing, the Pulitzer Prize committee is very picky. Two, it’s not that easy to bribe a Pulitzer judge. I guess that’s just the difference between me and four-time winner Robert Frost. As he said, “Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the less traveled, and that has made all the difference.” I did the same thing and just got lost.
I have also learned that I still love to write, and more specifically, rewrite. It always thrills me when I can make a joke just a little bit better, because let’s face it, writing this much for a Red Cross salary has to have some conjugal payback on the spiritual level. As a young man growing up, I loved the humor of Woody Allen. He was the man and that was my comic sensibility. Now, I’ve never considered marrying one of Mia Farrow’s adopted children, but in my earlier years people sometimes said I reminded them of the Woodman and that was the ultimate compliment. However, I quickly came back down to earth when one day I ran into former Democratic vice-presidential candidate Senator Lloyd Bentsen and the told me, “I know Woody Allen, and you’re no Woody Allen.”
So I continue to plug away at my arts and craft, with the hope that the beauty and humor from these pages makes the world a little better place. At the same time, and for purely for sociological purposes, I continue to extensively monitor the world of television in attempt to stay in shape by being well-rounded and tropical, which includes watching enough NBA basketball to bring down a herd of small elephants. And if you haven’t checked out the new show on FX, “The Americans,” about a KGB sleeper cell in America, you might want to take a gander. Or in the words of that Soviet party animal Nikita Khrushchev, “We will bury you,” a quote that I read on the wall inside the FBI building in Washington, D.C., when I visited there as a young diplomat. I’ll never forgot those words, which were accompanied by a hammer, sickle and shovel.
So I can’t say how long I will continue to bring you the best of what I see in the earth and sky, but I can guarantee this. As long as I have clear eyes, a full heart, my readers can’t lose. Sunrise Santa Cruz forever. Or at least through spring break.
So for today’s photo snack bar, we are heading back to the morning of December 28 at Lighthouse Point. Mornings like this is why I’m a sunrise photographer, when the sky just blows up with color and and I can stand along the edge of the continent and capture the incredible reflection on the Pacific Ocean. This fascination (some might say obsession) of capturing the morning magnificence started back in 2003, when I saw a photo from the late photographer Galen Rowell of a beautiful sunrise on a pond in northern California, with the reflection captured perfectly in the still water. I said to myself, “This is what I want to do,” and I’ve been doing it ever since. To paraphrase the Doobie Brothers, “What was once a vice is now a habit.”
On to some late night humor. “Former Chicago Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. pled guilty to misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign funds for personal use, including buying a $43,000 Rolex watch. How ironic is that? All that money on a watch, and now he’s going to wind up doing time. You knew this was going to happen. Dozens and dozens of lawsuits have already been filed against Carnival Cruise Lines. Well, if you thought the ship was filthy, slimy, and disgusting, wait until these lawyers get involved. Over the weekend, President Obama played golf with Tiger Woods. Tiger Woods gave the president some very valuable tips. The most valuable one? Erase all of your text messages.” – Jay Leno
“I’ve got the latest Oscar buzz. Many Pakistanis are saying that Zero Dark Thirty contains factual errors. Then someone explained to the Pakistanis that being directed by a woman does not qualify as a factual error. A top food manufacturer is reporting that some of their pasta meals contain horse meat. So if I were you, I’d stay away from the ‘Rigatoni, My Little Pony.’” – Conan O’Brien “Lent officially began yesterday. Do you know what the Lakers are giving up for Lent? The playoffs.” – Jay Leno
“They’re going to miss Pope Benedict. He’s very underrated. This is the guy who wanted to replace Communion wafers with unlimited bread sticks. Pope Benedict is deaf in one ear. He’s deaf in one ear and also a little bit blind, but boy, he sure could play a mean pinball. It’s day five of that Carnival Cruise trip. You know you’re on a bad cruise if you wake up on day two, you look out your little porthole, and you see the captain and the crew in a lifeboat.” – David Letterman
“It’s a great day for the city of Los Angeles. We’ve become the first city to synchronize all of our traffic lights. This will make it easier to get downtown and watch the Lakers lose. It’s a great day for a bunch of thieves in Belgium. They got away with more than $50 million worth of pure, uncut diamonds. This diamond heist is the biggest robbery ever pulled off at an airport if you don’t count them charging $25 to check a bag. Most stores are open on Presidents Day. What better way to celebrate our presidents than by offering a sale on tires? Yes, four score and 20 years ago, our forefathers got two-for-one on steel-belted radials.” – Craig Ferguson
So that’s our last blast for February. Birthday wishes go out on Wednesday to my old Ivy League pal, Amy Zimmerman, who I believe is the only woman in America to watch “Silver Linings Playbook” three times in the same day.
We’ll catch you showing everyone that even in your mid-thirties, you’re as dangerous a scorer as you’ve ever been. Aloha, mahalo and later, Kobe Bryant fans.