Go Fourth

First of all, I have no real verdict in the Case Of The Mysterious Dirt Piles, though I certainly do appreciate you all weighing in. At this point, I'm pretty much torn between blaming it on the gophers---although I still maintain that there are no visible holes they could have tunneled up through---and the crazy lady across the street, who is really, to be fair, another story for another time. (Like when I catch her red-handed, for example. Innocent until proven guilty and all that! Hey, it worked for Casey Anthony. Oh, wait.) 

Second of all, it is only fair that I raise my hand right now and eat a little humble pie. Actually, that sounds like it would be really complicated, trying to eat pie while your hand is raised in the air, but either way I need to admit that I was wrong, because for the past few months, I have been passionately opposed to Instagram. I'm not sure why, exactly, except to say that something about how it turned everything into a washed out, hipster-friendly, mid-1960s-to-late-1970s commercial for your parents' photo albums really rubbed me the wrong way. 

Until, get this, I USED IT. 

And I have to admit that I liked it. I get it now! I get why it is so appealing! It creates instant nostalgia. Something happens and you think "this is fun!" or "that is pretty!" and so you Instagram it, and then five seconds later you can look back on your picture of it and be all "oh, remember when that thing was so fun? Remember when that thing was so pretty?" The appeal of Instagram, at least as far as I see it, is that it puts an aesthetic filter of forty or fifty years between the thing that just happened and the thing that is happening right now, the result of which makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and happy, just like you are in an episode of The Wonder Years. That's the appeal of Instagram, I think: it's the Wonder Yearsification of your everyday life. 

Also, I have to admit, it is really very flattering. I guess everyone just had luminous skin and visible cheekbones in the mid-1960s to late 1970s. 

With that said, I sheepishly admit that I am a convert. So here are some Instagram photos of my Fourth of July weekend. You had to know that was coming.  





It was Sean's birthday on the Fourth of July, and tradition dictates that we go to a baseball game, so that's what we did. It was 80 degrees, which is a lot for San Francisco, and although my attention span for baseball waxes and wanes, my attention span for drinking beer in the sun and eating cotton candy remains pretty constant, so a good time was had by all. 

Back at home, we had a little cookout in the back yard---please note that "cookout" and "back yard" are wonderful novelties to these former apartment dwellers, who could imagine neither last year---and also tested out the new fire pit I'd bought Sean for his birthday. 

Building a fire in the back yard

Grill fixins

Fourth of July dinnerI made this

I would like to point out that I made that very patriotic cheesecake---well played, God, for making blueberries and strawberries seasonal in early July; imagine if all we'd had to work with for our star-spangled baked goods was beets and rutabagas---and I was very pleased with how it came out. In fact, I'd like to believe that it was responsible for my mother-in-law uttering, right at the end of her visit, those four magic words I'd been straining for madly since she'd arrived: "You're an excellent cook." 

Mission accomplished! I can now go back to feeding your son frozen pizza!

Huh, speaking of that guy:

Birthday boy

Have you ever seen anyone look so unhappy to be blowing out a tea light on a patriotic cheesecake? It's not my fault I forgot to get birthday candles, buddy! They don't make them in packs of 35!

Living room 

That is a picture of my living room, which I included just because. It has nothing to do with the Fourth of July, but it sure does look pretty in Instagram. I get it now, alright. I get it. Hey, I bet this humble pie would taste great topped with a few strawberries and blueberries.

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Jul 06, 2011

I thought you'd gotten a gray couch? Does Instagram make it look brown? Or is it me? Anyway, your living room looks stunning, and after your amazing kitchen reveal, I hope we can see more of that soon!

Jul 06, 2011

i don't own an iphone and i get insanely jealous of people uploading their instagram photos on facebook since i'm also a huge polaroid fan who used to spend her monthly allowance on buying polaroid film and taking tons of random pictures.

Jul 06, 2011

Sorry. I'm still anti-Instagram. I will hold strong, even though SOME PEOPLE have deserted their posts.

Love the living room, though. Truly.

Jul 06, 2011

I love your pictures, but I'm still hesitant to use instagram myself.

Christina S.
Jul 06, 2011

I can't do it. I'm anti-Instagram. If you want your photos to look like that USE FILM. It just kills me.

Laura B.
Jul 06, 2011

I can't stand Instagram. Maybe if I used it, I could understand. But until then, it just confuses me why everyone wants washed out pictures form the 70s.

Jul 06, 2011

I love Instagram! For all the people drinking Instagram haterade, you don't HAVE to use the filters, you can just upload a pic sans any filtering of any kind but still be able to share it easily with your social media choices. It's actually faster than uploading the pic straight into Flickr or Facebook.

Some pics I'll use a filter, some I won't. It all depends on my mood. I like the option of being able to have a picture immediately that matches my mood at the time instead of lugging my giant camera bag with film DSLR, holga and digi DSLR...by the time I get it out of the bag and set to the proper settings? The moment I am trying to capture may have passed.

Jul 06, 2011

I don't mind the nostalgia thing of Instagram pics, but the "dirty" look on digital photos makes me want to bust out some Clorox wipes and brighten that baby right up. Here and there I can keep my neurosis in check, but after 20 "nostalgic" pics that were taken this weekend I start to get the eye twitch. "Why aren't your photos in focus!? Why are the colors all messed up?!?! Why are you making me look at these!?? MY eye--the on that isn't twitching--is starting to get permanently squinty because I'm trying to make out the details of your life!"

Do you think there is a pill for this?

Jul 06, 2011

you do have a blue rug and a red pillow so it's a very patriotic living room!

Jul 06, 2011

I held out for a bit too, but I should admit that it was more about having ONE MORE THING to keep up with versus any real photography/integrity sort of thoughts. I gave in awhile back though, and while my obsession has waned a bit, I still do enjoy Instagram and will happily follow along with your new obsession. :)

Oh, and happy birthday to Sean. That cheesecake looks divine.

Jul 06, 2011

a) Love the baseball pics - the first one, in particular.
b) Um, what's wrapped up in foil on the counter in the food shot? That looks like it has a tail? Next to the ketchup?

Kerri Anne
Jul 06, 2011

I was also super skeptical of Instagram for a long time before joining, and the second I did I was pretty much hooked. It's all the joy of Flickr meets fun, funky filters and instant gratification!

Here's to many more celebratory weekends and more Instagram photos to prove it, amen.

Nothing But Bonfires
Jul 06, 2011

Flyover Belle -- it's corn on the cob!

Wait, I mean: it's gophers!

Operation Pink Herring
Jul 06, 2011

My real issue with instagram is that it requires an extra click when I'm loolking at twitter on my phone. I wonder if that's an issue specific to the Droid platform. Or maybe people were less lazy back in the good old days!

Jul 06, 2011

i use instagram mostly for the sharability of it across tumblr, twitter, facebook - i love that. and i do love the filters personally. i'll have to start following you now!

Jul 06, 2011

Favorites: "oh, remember when that thing was so fun? Remember when that thing was so pretty?" (HEE!) and "Wonder Yearsification of your everyday life. "

Your pictures are cute. I still think Instagram is overused.

Your cheesecake is beautiful - kudos! Happy birthday to Sean.

Jul 06, 2011

Forgot to mention - love the clever post title!

Jul 06, 2011

I don't have a "smart" phone (because I'm cheap) so i don't use any of those trendy apps like twitter and instagram. However, from other recent reluctant converts that I respect, I hear that instagram isn't supposed to replace photos taken on "real" cameras. But it's so accessible that users take more photos. More photos usually also equals more crap, but it also means that you have a few pictures from that baseball game you went to on your birthday, or that day in the park when your dog was scared of the ducks, or the first time you took your kid to the farmer's market. We don't carry our cameras around all the time, but most people do have their phone 24/7.

Remember in college when you took photos at all the events and sometimes when you were just hanging out, but usually only had 1 roll developed a month. and it cost something like $5+ to get it developed and that was a lot of money back then that could have equaled grilled cheese for a week. I thought I took a lot of photos back then (compared to now) and I was only taking 35 a month. Now I only take 35 a year.

It is supposed to be fun.

As anna said "ANYTHING that gets people to be more observant of their surroundings and helps them to not be afraid to experiment with expressing themselves visually is GOOD."

Sarah Brown
Jul 06, 2011

Nope. It's cheating. You can't instant-nostalgia life! That's not how it works! Maybe it's a personal thing. If those were MY fourth of July memories, I'd like it. But when I see other people's, I just think, "Oh, was that beer really important to you? So important you want to pretend like it was a beer from 1976?"

Your living room is lovely, though.

Jul 06, 2011

welcome to the club. Sometimes I feel silly using the photo filtering apps, but I like to think I take better pictures because I'm taking more pictures. Practice, perfect, etc. So it's worth the weird stares I get on the street when I take pictures of a flower (my eleventy billionth flower) or the eyeball rolls my boyfriend might give me when I capture another picture of my beer at the local bar we visit.

say cheese!

Nothing But Bonfires
Jul 06, 2011

Yeah, it's totally cheating, I agree. But sometimes you just have to make the Kraft mac and cheese in the box instead of the from-scratch stuff with Gruyere or whatever. Sometimes you just need a picture of cotton candy from faux-1976.

Jul 06, 2011

I don't have a smartphone and therefore no Instagram love or hate, but I HAVE to share a wondermous way to BBQ corn on cob. Foolproof it is! Soak the corn for about 30 mins, husks and all. Then, BBQ until the outer green is charred, turning frequently. The corn is delicious and the "hair" cooks away so it peels easily! You'll never go back... I promise! (and there are probably better, more clear cooking directions out there on the Webz for you than my half-arsed "instructions" but when I spied your corn, I knew I had to chime in!)

Jul 06, 2011

I couldn't care less about the filters. Is that why people use Instagram? For the filters/nostalgia aspect? I adore Instagram because I get to see what my friends are doing on a daily basis, and I love leaving and receiving comments. It definitely reminds me of the Flickr community from years back.

Amber Wolf
Jul 07, 2011

Yeah, yeah, instagram, awesome and so on.

Back to the effing dirt piles. I swear to God, just knowing that you haven't figured this out yet is making me crazy! I must know. If I have to fly down there myself and camp out to catch the culprit or do a neighborhood campaign complete with good cop/bad cop questioning techniques I will do so.

Just sayin.

Tony Johnson
Jul 08, 2011

Seriously? Fire pit? I wasn't notified? What am I, chopped liver?

Jul 09, 2011

I have no idea what you guys are talking about re: Instagram. I have a regular old cell phone, which does what a phone is supposed to do, and that's it.

Happy birthday, Sean!

Regarding the fire pit: As a fire pit owner for the past several years, I can tell that you are new at this, trying to build a campfire in the thing - the tripod setup over the pile of tinder. What you're going to find is that when you build a "real" fire in the thing, it's too small a space to safely put enough wood in there to build a fire you can sit down and relax in front of. Which means you'll end up spending your entire evening getting up to run and put another twig on the fire. After one or two episodes like this, you'll realize that the best thing for a fire pit this size is one of those paper-wrapped, long-burning log jobbies that you can buy at the grocery or hardware store. Put one or two in there, light 'em up, and sit back with your glass of wine and enjoy the smoke-free, perfectly sized dancing flames all evening.

Jul 09, 2011

Happy birthday Sean!

Regarding the fire pit, I think you'll find that trying to build a campfire in the thing (still laughing at that picture) will have you running to put another twig on the fire all night long. It won't hold enough large wood to make a long-burning fire. Grab a couple of those paper-wrapped Duraflame logs they sell at the grocery and hardware stores, light 'em up, grab a glass of wine and enjoy a relaxing evening by the fire!

Jul 09, 2011

Happy birthday Sean!

Regarding the fire pit, I think you'll find that trying to build a campfire in the thing (still laughing at that picture) will have you running to put another twig on the fire all night long. It won't hold enough large wood to make a long-burning fire. Grab a couple of those paper-wrapped logs they have at the grocery and hardware stores, light 'em up, grab a glass of wine and enjoy a relaxing evening by the fire!

P.S. Your spam filter sucks. I had to repost this comment multiple times to get it to work. What is UP with that?

Jul 09, 2011

Your spam filter SUCKS. Tried to post a comment three times, and then it banned me to the fourth circle of hell.

Now it isn't worth it. I'm so pissed off I forgot what I was trying to say. Of course, this comment will post.

May 19, 2016

That's a smart way of lonkiog at the world.

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