Tag Archives: photography

Photo Friday: Vaseline Glass

When we were in Ohio in June, the menfolk in Dave’s family spent a day golfing at their annual tournament (the winner receives a trophy depicting a golfer and a toilet and is expected to display it proudly). During the golf tournament, I tagged along with the ladies for a trip to the Tiffin Glass Museum.

The Museum displays vintage pieces in one room and items for sale in a small adjacent room. Luckily for my wallet, the pieces I liked most were all in the “not for sale” part of the Museum. Tiffin Glass was one of the producers of color-changing “Neodymium glass,” which they unfortunately called “twilight,” even though it has nothing to do with 100-year old vampires living as teenagers. Twilight glass changes color under different light. The museum docent demonstrated that twilight glass looks lavender under incandescent light and ice blue under fluorescent light. He told us people used to buy it thinking it was blue because most stores use fluorescent light and then be upset when they got their piece home and found it to be lavender. 

But there was another, even cooler, dual-colored glass there. Vaseline glass looks yellow normally, but turns neon green under black light because it contains uranium. Although my sister-in-law was disappointed to find out that the vaseline glass salt cellars she wanted to buy weren’t actually made by Tiffin Glass, she decided to get two anyway.

In the car on the way home she read the tag on the glass and said that the manufacturer (Mosser Glass) was located in Cambridge, Ohio.

“That’s where Chuck came from!” I exclaimed.

“Well, then you should definitely have one of these,” my sister-in-law generously offered.

So that was really nice of her. I really should have just bought a piece of this glass myself, since I was so impressed with it. I was just stymied by the black light part. But I got a cheap little handheld black light and here are the photographic results!

Just my Canon Speedlite flash:
Vaseline Glass

Under black light:

Vaseline Glass Black Light

Photo Friday: Presque Isle

I went to Erie for a visit two weeks ago. I decided I would take pictures at Presque Isle on Sunday morning for my Happy Fun Time. I awoke to the sound of rain. Dave, Chuck, and I went anyway, and by the time we parked the car, the rain had stopped. But the sky was grey and unappealing and the light was horrible. Of course, once we’d given up on the picture taking, the afternoon sky cleared to a bright blue with huge fluffy clouds.

Eureka! “We’ll go back to the beach at sunset,” I proclaimed. The fluffy clouds would make for an awesome sunset, photo gold! Except for the enormous cloud that parked itself right on the horizon, mostly blocking the sun. I also hadn’t realized how badly my camera needed to be cleaned either until I saw these pictures. I didn’t even bother to Photoshop the dust spots out, because I hate Photoshop, because I’m trying to recover from perfectionism, and because you might as well share in my disappointment. Here’s the best sunset shot.


I love running on the trail at Presque Isle. On this trip, I was able to fit in two runs. The second was on my birthday, so I decided to run a tenth of a mile for each year of my life. I guess the disappointment of the earlier photo shoot made me throw the camera in the car, just in case. I usually run on the bay side, but ended up on the lake side for a short time and saw this.


When Erie pulls shit like this, it makes me wish I lived there. After my runs, I try to make time to check out the lake. I always linger a little longer when I know I won’t be back for awhile. So after I took this picture, I climbed up that slope of sand and stood and stared at the water like I always do. And I said goodbye for now like I always do. And I might have shed a tear like I always do. And I laughed at myself while walking back to the car like I always do.

Damn it, Erie. Why do you have to be so charming right as I’m about to leave?

Chuck Dog Fluffy Pants

Seven years ago we adopted Chuck, my fluffy muffin. Since we don’t know when he was born, we celebrate his birthday on the anniversary of the day we brought him home.

I have always wanted a dog. But my Mom can’t stand to be around animals, which meant no dog for me. When Dave and I bought a townhouse after we got married, I thought I could finally get a dog. Wrong. Dave was against getting a dog. He worried our new house was too small and yard-less. Also there was that being responsible for another living creature thing.

My longing for a dog got so bad that I would sometimes cry if I saw a cute dog when we went out. I held firm. Dave simply needed to be convinced.

I had been looking at Petfinder for a couple of months already before Dave finally agreed to meet some dogs (“How convenient! I happen to already have a list of possible dogs!”) in 2004. All spring and summer, I searched, filled out applications, got friends to serve as references, and promised a kidney to various rescue groups and shelters. The requirements to adopt a dog here were unbelievably stringent. There were home visits.

I wanted cute and fluffy and for some reason cute and fluffy seemed to correlate with separation anxiety issues. We both work full-time. After months of rescue groups and shelters saying no way to our adopting the cute, the fluffy, the separation anxiety-ridden, and several meetings with dogs who could take or leave us, I finally found Chuck.

The pictures were poor quality, but in them the sun lit him from behind and he looked like a fluffy angel. Key phrases popped out from the description: “…barely tops 30 lbs (including the fluff)…beautiful brindle coat and thick mane…uniquely gorgeous….infectious smile…barely a year old…good humor…foster says “to know him is to love him”…excellent for a first-time dog owner…moderate energy…non-destructive…housebroken…no signs of any separation anxiety.”

I stayed up until 1AM filling out the application. When the woman who had rescued Chuck came over for the home visit, Chuck’s Foster Dad brought Chuck along too.

Chuck was charming. He seemed happy to meet us. He had clearly been learning to give paw, because he continually pawed at us while we pet him. It was super cute. He soaked in our attention like it was his job.

Dave is not a very demonstrative person. He was petting Chuck, but I couldn’t tell what he was thinking. I was relieved when the rescuer suggested we take Chuck on a quick walk to discuss things in private.

When Dave didn’t say anything, I asked, “What do you think?”

Quintessential Dave, he replied, “About what?”

“About Chuck,” I said with exasperation.

“Oh, I love Chuck!”

So it was settled. We were adopting Chuck.

When we first got him, we spent a lot of time staring at him, doting on him, and being blown away by how cute he was. I thought it was the newness of it, that we’d get over it. But we’re both still overwhelmed by how adorable he is at least once a day. When we’re out walking him, people often stop to comment. In fact, Chuck seems surprised when people pass him by without doting on him.

Even my Mom is a closeted Chuck fan. When we visited her last Christmas, I know she thought I couldn’t hear her, but I totally overheard her tell a friend on the phone that Chuck “is a beautiful dog.”

Over the years I have taken a boatload of Chuck pictures. Here are some of the best photos of our first seven years with Chuck. Happy birthday, Chuckle Puppy! We love you!

Photo Friday: Margot MacDonald at Lubber Run Amphitheater

Thank goodness the Lubber Run Amphitheater Foundation got the County to reconsider scrapping the Amphitheater. It’s such a huge part of the neighborhood.

Tonight we saw Margot MacDonald perform. She put on a fabulous show, complete with her awesome a cappella loop pedal version of Massive Attack’s “Teardrop.” And I got to practice nighttime shooting. I got a few good shots. Here’s my favorite:

Photo Friday: Dutch Yahtzee

My family played Yahtzee a lot when I was growing up (we managed to play without any violence, seriously that link is so disturbing…couldn’t they just have said no, I don’t want to play Yahtzee? And what kind of person doesn’t enjoy a good game of Yahtzee anyway?).

I spent a summer during high school living with a host family in the Netherlands. I bought Dutch Yahtzee (“Het best verkochte dobbelspel ter wereld”) while I was over there. It’s the same, only in Dutch.

I took the game to college and it was amazing how entertaining Yahtzee terms translated into Dutch could be to drunk people. One of my friends on the hall was originally from the Netherlands and she was able to translate, although it’s really not all that difficult to figure out, for example “three of a kind” is… “three of a kind.” However, “four of a kind” is “Royale with Cheese-like and translates to “Carre” (I think it means “square.”).

My friend John Boy decided “bovenste helft” (which means “top half”) sounded like something to say as a toast. So we instituted a new requirement to drunkenly shout out “Bovenste Helft!” every so often while playing. Soon playing Yahtzee was no longer a prerequisite for sharing a little good will with a boisterous greeting of “Bovenste Helft!” Our Dutch friend thought we were nuts walking around yelling out “top half” for no reason.

Photo Friday: Bowl O’ Cookies

Dave decided we shouldn’t go to his family reunion empty handed. I have no clue about the etiquette for this shit, but I tried to talk him out of it. We don’t have time in the evenings during the week, especially the week before we take vacation days. Whatever we bring also has to travel 10 hours with us. Plus, I was certain his sister-in-law, baker extraordinaire, would have it covered. Perhaps I shouldn’t mention that the blondies I took to the reunion last year were the last thing to go.

Anyway, he insisted on making cookies.

I just made Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies for Memorial Day, so I made the fateful suggestion of trying the family recipe my friend posted in the comments on the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie review. A recipe we haven’t tried before. At 10PM the night before we are leaving. When we aren’t packed. And writing this is also a good use of my time, but I digress.

Dave doubled the recipe for a greater yield when he made the dough last night. But tonight, he didn’t so much feel like baking anymore. So he decided to make them massive so he wouldn’t be baking all night. He also didn’t grease the cookie sheets or line them with parchment. I suppose I should’ve kept an eye on the proceedings, but I worked from 8AM until 8:30PM, so I was eating my dinner and staring glassy-eyed at the TV while Dave made these decisions.

Would you like some cookies?

They’re the cookies that eat like a soup! They have a lovely flavor, but they are very flat and delicate, in addition to being stuck to the pan and undercooked. He’s trying to adjust the later batches, so hopefully we will have a yield greater than zero.

I find this really amusing, probably because Dave is so skilled at cooking while I’m just not. So I’m happy I can feel superior about baking.

My apologies to Erin’s husband’s family for desecrating their childhood cookie.

Photo Friday: Master Butcher

Our dog Chuck is made almost entirely of fluff. The summer months here are horribly uncomfortable even for those of us in the family not coated in fur, so we get Chuck a summer cut each year. Every single year I am heartbroken by the result, as the fluffier Chuck gets, the happier I am. But the groomer really outdid himself this year. I had no idea how little Chuck there actually was without fur, nor did I want to find out. It took three full days before I could even look at him without wanting to cry. He looks like his fur has been inexpertly Photoshopped off.

I keep trying to get a picture that adequately portrays the butchering of the fluff, but Chuck isn’t cooperating. This picture isn’t great, but at least he looks appropriately miserable.