HAPPY NEW YEARS!!!

IF 2012 WAS ONE OF THOSE YEARS IN WHICH YOU BEGAN WITH OPTIMISM

IF 2012 WAS ONE OF THOSE YEARS IN WHICH YOU BEGAN WITH OPTIMISM

BUT IT ENDED WITH A LITTLE BIT OF DISAPPOINTMENT OR HEART ACHE

BUT IT ENDED WITH A LITTLE BIT OF DISAPPOINTMENT OR HEART ACHE

IF DURING THE YEAR YOU FORGOT ONE OR MORE COMMITMENTS

IF DURING THE YEAR YOU FORGOT ONE OR MORE COMMITMENTS

...AND MORE THAN ONE GOAL REMAINED OUT OF REACH

…AND MORE THAN ONE GOAL REMAINED OUT OF REACH

NOT TO MENTION DIFFERENCES OF OPINION WITH THE BOSS OR CO-WORKERS

NOT TO MENTION DIFFERENCES OF OPINION WITH THE BOSS OR CO-WORKERS

ADDED A FEW OUNCES

ADDED A FEW OUNCES

AT TIMES FELT ALL ALONE IN THE WORLD

AT TIMES FELT ALL ALONE IN THE WORLD

GOT SOME NEW WRINKLES OR GREY HAIRS

GOT SOME NEW WRINKLES OR GRAY HAIRS

IF 2012 WASN'T AS GREAT AS IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN

IF 2012 WASN’T AS GREAT AS IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN

DON'T WORRY, 2013 IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER

DON’T WORRY, 2013 IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER

SO CELEBRATE IT THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY

SO CELEBRATE IT THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY

WITH BEAR HUGS,

WITH BEAR HUGS,

LOTS OF KISSES,

LOTS OF KISSES,

AND ENDLESS HUMOR

AND ENDLESS HUMOR

HERE'S HOPING YOU'LL LEAP INTO 2013 WITH PROSPERITY, HEALTH, AND HAPPINESS!!!

HERE’S HOPING YOU’LL LEAP INTO 2013 WITH PROSPERITY, HEALTH, AND HAPPINESS!!!

Hoping 2013 IS GOOD TO ALL OF US…

HAPPY NEW YEAR,

JOEL

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Happy Holidays to all, and to all, another night on Earth…

The Earth wasn’t destroyed yesterday, as “predicted” by the end of the Mayan calender.  Though it was the end of school for 2012, as students and fellow staff members relish the 2 weeks we don’t have to deal with each other…  I received gifts from my students ranging from gift certificates from Barns and Noble, Starbucks, and Banana Republic.  Another student gifted me with a Pierre Cardin gift set, upon which I asked if that meant he thought I smelled, he just laughed.  The day before, in photography class as we watched the original “The Day The Earth Stood Still,” the same student turned to me and asked if it was based on a true story, I responded, “not yet.”

My family is Jewish, so my brother, my sister, and I were raised to celebrate Hanukkah, but we also recognized and celebrated the joyfulness of Christmas.

When we were young, we would gather to light the candles on the menorah and as my dad lit each one, we would all say the following prayers:

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam, asher kiddeshanu b’mitzvotav, vitzivanu, lehadlik ner shel Hanukkah.

Blessed art thou, o’ lord our God, King of the Universe, who has commanded us to kindle the festival of lights

As soon as we finished saying “lights,” all three of us would then run to the couch and cover our eyes so my parents could go fetch our nightly gifts.  They were pretty well hidden over the years, until the one time when I found them tucked under the back seats of my mom’s large station wagon.  As we grew older, we would and still do, light the candles and say the prayer each night, though we only receive gifts on either the first or the last night, depending on the schedules of our extended family.

I mentioned above that we celebrated the joy of Christmas, we listened (still do) to Christmas songs, watched the specials on TV, and exchanged gifts on Christmas day with our neighbors.  One of my favorite movies is the original, black and white version of “Miracle on 34th Street.”  It’s kind of funny that my dad (in his “old age”) is now watching holiday movies on the Hallmark channel.

We would also put out cookies for Santa when we were younger, and would find them gone the next morning, with a note from Santa thanking us.  There would also be presents as well.  One year we (my brother, sister, and I) asked our parents if we could get a tree, as our neighbors had large ones.  Our parents at first said no, but relented and we compromised and got a miniature one, with white frock all over.  We got another one the following year, the same year we got our first cat, who proceed to “attack” the tree and left our living room covered with white frock, so that was the end of the trees…

I wish you all a great Holiday!!!  For now, enjoy some of the holiday pictures I have come across on the internet over the years.

I’ll have another post later in the week for New Years, I have some winter cleaning to do first…

I wonder which one hit Santa

I wonder which one hit Santa

at least they're matching...

at least they’re matching…

Happy Holidays from a member of the NRA

Happy Holidays from a member of the NRA

a "blended" family

a “blended” family

they didn't want they're cat attacking their tree...

they didn’t want their cat attacking their tree…

a Christmas album from the 50's or 60's

a Christmas album from the 50’s or 60’s

I thought he just made chicken...

I thought he just made chicken…

good advertising

good advertising

Santa now has to register with the National Sex Offender Registry

Santa now has to register with the National Sex Offender Registry

see the caption above...

see the caption above…

and a wish from yours truly:

holidays

Sony Pictures Studio tour…

Today, our class at the high school had a field trip, we got to go to Sony Pictures Studios for a guided tour.  Nine students, five teachers, two Culver City bus rides (the first from Century City to the studios in Culver City; the second bus took us back.)

I didn’t think about taking my camera (must of had a brain freeze…), but luckily I did have my Galaxy S3 cell phone, so I used it’s 8 megapixel camera to snap a few shots:

this was where we met our tour guide, it's lobby is huge and we were told that it is often used in movies to stand in as an airport terminal

We met our tour guide inside, it’s lobby is huge and we were told that it is often used in movies to stand in as an airport terminal

after coming through the glass doors, this is the view ahead of you...

after coming through the glass doors, this is the view ahead of you…  You can definitely imagine an airport terminal here…

and this is looking toward the front from the back area

and this is looking toward the front from the back area

Christmas tree in the lobby

Christmas tree in the lobby

Time for the movie/TV portion of the tour:

as you proceed into the lobby, you are "greeted" by agents K and J...

as you proceed further into the lobby, you are “greeted” by agents K and J…

just to the left of the Men In Black, is Godzilla…  They also have Spiderman, but I passed on taking his picture…

After we met up with our tour guide, he led us into a screening room, gave us our tour passes, and showed a quick movie about how Sony Pictures ended up on this lot.  Then we went outside for a walking tour…

sony tour pass

We crossed the street onto the main lot, and were “treated” with a rainbow:

this was put in as an homage to the Wizard of Oz, which was filmed on the lot in the 1930's.

this was put in as an homage to the Wizard of Oz, which was filmed on the lot in the 1930’s.

We walked through some streets where they shoot scenes, and ended up at the stage where they film Jeopardy.  They weren’t filming today, so we got to walk in and have a look around:

we ran into Alex Trebec, but he was unresponsive to our hellos, which made sense since he was a cardboard cutout...

we ran into Alex Trebec, but he was unresponsive, which made sense since this was a cardboard cutout…

the set was under wraps, but if you watch the show, you can figure out what was under the sheets...

the set was under wraps, but if you watch the show, you can figure out what was under the sheets…

They were re-designing/decorating the Wheel of Fortune set, so we couldn’t go in.  The tour guide was impressed when I told him how you spin the wheel (you pull it toward you, then push it away, as it’s pretty heavy), as I was an alternate contestant a few years back on Wheel, but didn’t get a chance to compete, just sat in the contestant area of the audience waiting for someone to either get sick or hurt, though nobody did…

We then walked outside and came upon some “famous” cars:

Who You Gonna Call???the black car next to Ecto 1, is from Green Hornet, but since I didn't see the movie, I wasn't interested in taking it's picture...

Who You Gonna Call???
the black car next to Ecto 1, is from Green Hornet, but since I didn’t see the movie, I wasn’t interested in taking it’s picture…

We then went back to the Plaza building for lunch and I took a couple more pictures:

because of the sunlight coming through the windows, I had to take this from a distance.  The costume on the right is Dan Akroyd's from "Ghostbusters," and the one on the left is Will Ferrell's from "Talladega Nights"

because of the sunlight coming through the windows, I had to take this from a distance. The costume on the right is Dan Akroyd’s from “Ghostbusters,” and the one on the left is Will Ferrell’s from “Talladega Nights”

This was hanging over the food court, it's from "Blue Thunder"

this was hanging over the food court, it’s from “Blue Thunder”

We were led into a small building that had some of Sony Pictures’ Oscars on display, he said I couldn’t take any pictures of them.  Our guide told us all of the Oscars are made in Chicago, and are shipped here to L.A.  He also said that they cost about $500 to make…and that the actors who win, have to sign a contract vowing not to sell them.

I might take this tour again, on my own time.  If I do, I’ll be sure to take my camera with me,

So,

HOW YOU DOIN???

Back in the Dark Room Again…

I’ve been taking pictures since I was in the 6th grade.  My first camera was the Kodak Disc, a small plastic thingy that you slipped in a round “disc” of film.  Back then I mostly took pictures of my classmates during our final days in elementary school, field trips, and 2 years later to document our family trip to Disney World.

When I was an undergraduate student at Loyola Marymount University here in Los Angeles, I took a photography course and used my father’s old Olympus SLR (single lens reflex) camera.  We used a dark room to develop our own film.  I loved working in the dark room, creating my own prints.  My final project was “Super-imposition,” where I used multiple (usually 2) negatives to create one print.  A few years later, with my own SLR camera (can’t remember which one) I participated in “Think Blue Week” at Dodger stadium where I was chosen to be the team “fantasy photographer” for a game.  I took 3 rolls of film during the whole 9 innings, and nearly had my head taken off when a foul ball hit by the Dodger’s Brett Butler sent the real team photographer and myself diving in the 1st base side photographers well.

Skip 18 years, and I am now in my 6th year at a local high school working in the Special ED department.  This year, during 3rd period, I have been, along with another aid, helping 3 of our students as they are taking a cooking elective.  Last week, I was asked to move to another elective to help a student in his photography elective, I jumped at the chance.

After my student had developed his film, we took the negatives into the dark room.  Now, I had not been a dark room for over 18 years, and it scared the hell out of me when I followed him in.  Even though the red rights were on, I still couldn’t see a thing, my eyes needed almost 20 minutes just to adjust to the low light.  But once they did, and the photo teacher showed my student how to make a print, it all came coming back, and I felt at home in the dark room.  I now look forward to helping my student develop more film and make prints..

At the end of that period, the photo teacher made a comment to me, that he once tour with the country group Alabama, which instantly put the song, “Mountain Music” in my head for the rest of the day and night…

Here are some of my pictures from the photo class I took at LMU:

this is a pin hole camera shot of the Westside Pavillion

this is a pin hole camera shot of the Westside Pavillion

our assignment was to capture "motion," so I set up my tripod and hung out on the overhang above the 405

our assignment was to capture “motion,” so I set up my tripod and hung out on the overhang above the 405

for the "people" assignment I went to the Santa Monica Pier and came across a man sleeping on a bench.

for the “people” assignment I went to the Santa Monica Pier and came across a man sleeping on a bench.

as I mentioned above, my final project was "super-imposition."  For this print, I put together the negatives of my very first car, along with a negative of a shot looking down a hill.  Funny how easy it is to do now, using a computer...

as I mentioned above, my final project was “super-imposition.” For this print, I put together the negatives of my very first car, along with a negative of a shot looking down a hill. Funny how easy it is to do now, using a computer…

So, with Christmas only 3 weeks away, I ask:

HOW YOU DOIN???