Tuesday, June 30, 2009

sinking in...

my last major print project as office manager of gcc.

even though today was my last day (yikes!), it definitely hasn't sunk in that i'm leaving the job i've held for most of my adult life.

leaving stability, schedule, salary, and friends for what?

the chance to jump into a river of dreams and either drown or build aircraft carriers.
the chance to use music and art to touch so many lives ... if i can conquer the formidable foes of organization, planning, marketing, and intense hatred of alarm clocks.

... i'll keep y'all posted. especially on the alarm clock part. ;)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


detail posts are my favorite. we'll remember the big things we did on a trip, but it's the little things that are so special.

we did lots of fun little things on this trip - joel was accomodating enough to drive me down quite a few memory lanes, even though nostalgia isn't really his thing.

we visited his old high school during graduation - that was fun - and i managed to capture this shot of the auditorium where he sang and danced a number of school musicals. i'm actually rather proud of this picture - it's taken with my point&shoot through a heavily tinted window. :)

joel took me to his old church on my first trip down, over five years ago.
the lower level of this house is a small apartment where joel and his mom lived during some of his elementary years ...
... and during that time he attended this school. :)
community college (taken leaning across the driver's seat through the window of a moving car - he refused to stop in traffic for me to frame the shot, and i refuse to crop it.) :P can you believe he only had to pay $17/credit?!? and i was up in oregon paying $70 for community college credits?!? (well, actually, when joel was in community college i was 12 and spending most of my time playing piano and babysitting, but still!)we enjoyed a lovely tuesday night dinner with joel's grandparents and cousin morgan, and i fully intended to take photos. hmph. if you're curious what they look like, see december 2008.

tuesday was a great day - it included several non-crowded beaches, a highly informative lecture on footware from a birkenstock man, and shakes from crystal cove shake shack.

one of my absolute favorite details of this trip involved an issue with my migraine prevention medication. i take a drug called topamax, a neurological nightmare that prevents my daily migraines and always seems to find new and fascinating ways to mess with my brain. i made a slight change in the medication right before we left, so for most of the trip i experienced highly amusing neurological symptoms such as itching, tingling, forgetting words, and a complete inability to express a coherent thought without excessive stuttering.

my positivity toward these symptoms may seem sarcastic, but let me assure you, i am perfectly genuine. when i cannot even remember words like "playoffs" and "yellow," there is no approach but to laugh. my favorite instance came when i suggested to joel that we use a bazooka on something, but instead of bazooka, i said "bakooza." the poor man thought i was referring to some type of water gun!

and of course ... our trip had to end. the handel's messiah bells in redding bid us goodbye from the land of sun and palm trees, and a glorious southern oregon sunset brought our trip to a close.

(actually that's not true. watching "finding nemo" on the laptop to stay awake until we rolled in at 12:50am brought our trip to a close. but the sunset thing sounds better.)

Monday, June 22, 2009

captain dave's dolphin & whale safari

i'm gonna do it again. yup... more animal pictures. please humor me - i'm preserving memories. this is so much cheaper than scrapbooking! ;)

on wednesday of our vacation, we went on a safari. a dolphin and whale safari, which took us straight into the perilous heart of the wild seas of southern california, and included free brownies. if you're skeptical about captain dave's appropriation of the term "safari," hold the cynicism long enought read dictionary.com's definition of the term as "any long or adventurous journey or expedition".

was our safari long? long enough to necessitate a pretty serious potty break afterward!
was our safari adventurous? [gives a pirate-y laugh] read on!

we spent about 3 hours on a catamaran (... googling ... hey, i spelled it right!) searching for dolphins and whales with about 20 other people + captain dave. less than 30 minutes into our trip, we found a pod of 200-300 dolphins.

they like to ride the pressure wave of the boat, and would swim next to it. we listened to their squeaking and clattering "dolphin-speak" from less than 5 feet away!
all of these pictures are from our point&shoot. my "real" camera spent the trip wrapped tightly in a sweatshirt, since i had the awesome foresight to leave its weather cover back at joel's parents' house. drat.
after a few quality hours with the dolphins we went searching for a whale - 'twas the season for blue whale viewing. the closest we came to seeing one, though, was to smell its breath just after it surfaced. (just a freebie: "whale-breath" would be a great insult next time you need one.)

captain dave (chatting here with joel's mom) was super cool.
joel's mom & stepdad aboard our catamaran. (ha! i spelled it right again!)
conversation overheard while we passed these sea lions:
kid: mommy, why do they live on there and not on the beach?
mommy: because if they lived on the beach little kids would poke them all day long.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

please... don't read this.

because this is the post in which i shall be intentionally guilty of one of the most annoying habits of personal bloggers:
endless animal pictures.

compounding the offense, they are vacation animal pictures. vacation zoo animal pictures.
there, i warned you.

on monday, we visited san diego's wild animal park (i suppose not, technically, a zoo) with joel's mom and stepdad. the weather was perfect, and the animals ... accomodating. :)
we started our tour with a truck ride around the park, narrated by a perky blond with a penchant for puns.

the park was huge and open - the closest thing i've ever seen to an african savannah. don't be fooled though - one of america's largest cities is just over that hill.

the animals are kept in as natural of habitats as possible - aka, not in separate cages. (though they do have to keep the zebras separate because they will pull everyone else's tails out, according to the perky blond.)

this is just about the best angle on this poor creature - he's missing one of his horns!

"little" baby giraffes ... ^_^

of course, not all the animals wanted to be observed...

i didn't initially realize that the vehicle here was fake. somehow after that i find these photos slightly less humorous, though no less cute!

i experienced a post-lion camera meltdown (dead battery), but karen brought hers as well. crisis averted. i'm not quite sure how to explain these next two photos. there was an opportunity to feed little cups of nectar to lorikeets. we fed the lorikeets. joel fed one or two sedate lorikeets, and i fed five or more in a hitchcock-esque whirl of claws and color.
honestly, i think they were lured by my stones shirt. someone should notify mick jagger of his tongue's odd effect on lorikeets.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

this will not be a witty post.

... because it is after 11pm, and i am tired.
and because i am typing slowly and carefully, both because i don't want to disturb the sleeping husband beside me, and because i can't type very well in the dark so about every third letter is wromh. :P
(oh, and the pictures are all from my sony p&s.)

we are on our 2nd day of a lovely vacation in southern california, visiting joel's parents and visiting with each other for the first time in several months. the 18hr drive was pure conversational bliss. (especially since the weather was appropriate, unlike our last trip. see december 08 for that blog - i'm to tired to link it.)

we spent some time yesterday at joel's mom's bookstore, where harry the cat was lounging on the adding machine.

today has been a san diego day, with joel's dad steve and newly retired stepmom kumi. first we toured the midway, an aircraft carrier with an excessive amount of interesting history that i will probably remember tomorrow morning. feel free to look it up on wikipedia.
this is the ... um ... cockpit. except it's not called that. i was paying attention, really!

we are very high here. those planes are about 5 stories off the water and we are 3-4 stories from the planes.

next, we took a 2hr tour cruise of san diego bay. it was mostly a navy ship tour, since there are so many of them in the bay.

this is the u.s.s. nimitz, the first of the nimitz class of aircraft carriers that are used today. (see, i learned something!)
we didn't get to tour it.

this is where i would normally work up a witty ending.



Thursday, June 11, 2009

fly away

my maternal grandfather, les borms, died on monday after a decade-long battle with prostate cancer. he is now free from pain.
these photos are from my grandparents' 50th anniversary celebration last august.

some bright morning when this life is over
i'll fly away
to that home on god's celestial shore
i'll fly away

when the shadows of this life have gone
i'll fly away
like a bird from these prison walls i'll fly
i'll fly away

oh how glad and happy when we meet
i'll fly away
no more cold iron shackles on my feet
i'll fly away

i'll fly away, oh glory
i'll fly away
when i die, hallelujah, by and by
i'll fly away

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

the fish coroner


when in the course of piscine events it becomes necessary for one fish to be released from the tropical world which has cradled it and to be delivered to that great fishbowl in the sky...
don't flush it.

tropical fish keeping is not a hobby for sensitive souls. believe me, i know. (sensitive soul here.) you think you're going to buy a pretty fish tank and some pretty plants and some pretty rocks and some pretty "tank deco-art" and some pretty fish and they will swim around and be happy and bright and pretty until they die of old age in, oh, maybe 10 years. all you have to do is feed them some bright, pretty fish flakes that come in a bright, pretty jar!
ha ha.

so you buy your tank and your fish, and within a couple months your fish are sprouting white hair - the kind that grows out your grandpa's ears. and then they die.

so you buy more fish, and within a couple months they swell up like balloons with pathetic bugging eyes, and flop around your plastic pirate skull for a few days before they die.

so you buy more fish, different fish, and within a couple months their little heads are covered with deep holes into their cranium all the way to their brain from burrowing parasites. which, of course, makes them die.

and then the fish that didn't swell up or sprout hair or leak brains are suddenly covered in leprous white spots. but this is good because you know what this is! this is ich, also known as "white spot!" finally, a fish disease that is both identifiable and curable! so you buy some methylene blue, treat the fish, the white spots go away, and then they die from the harsh chemical in the treatment (which, by the way, is carcinogenic).

it's enough to make a girl cry. what's a sensitive fishkeeper to do?

the answer: stealth fish euthanasia.
and frankly, i have no idea how it's done. i employ an in-house fish executioner/coroner - he operates with utmost secrecy, and his, uh, "methods" are classified information. terminally ill fish simply disappear.

which is perfect for a sensitive soul like me.

... we hold this truth to be self-evident, that all fish are endowed with certain unalienable rights, that among these are buggy eyes, bright flaky food, and a dignified death by guillotine.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

portland farmers market

every school term (except summer) since january 08 joel has had saturday science labs. conveniently, portland farmers market is held on the grounds of psu, so fresh, cheap, locally produced soups, breads, produce, and occasionally breakfast have become a saturday tradition that we will miss!

i could describe the farmers market in many paragraphs, but i'd rather use a few photos. :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

i'm BACK! woooo!!!


how're things in blogopolis?!? (actually, i shouldn't ask that because i already know - i've secretly been reading all your blogs while i've been too lazy distractable adhd busy to post.)

out here in robertsville* we're mostly in recovery mode, with a little bit of radical life change mode thrown in too.**

recovering from...

~ willy wonka shows: my biggest non-work time commitment of the last 8 weeks is now over - rehearsals are done, shows played, equipment packed up, goodbyes said, and memories made. i'm trying to track down some pics of our band, but haven't found any. i'll post them if i ever do.

~ joel's school term: ok, technically we're not recovering from this yet. joel still has finals until next tuesday, so he's studying hard like the brilliant student that he is. (love you, dear!)

~ the house: well, the yard. we've been trying to turn our yard into ... a yard. plants have been planted with great tenderness, weeds have been eliminated with great tenacity, the shed has been cleaned with vigor, and asphalt has been jackhammered ... by my brother. blog post coming soon, i promise.

~ major life decisions made: which segues perfectly into ...

radical life change...

~ i'm taking some big steps these days ... embarking on new adventures, making and pursuing career goals, and just generally shaking everything up! on july 1st, i will no longer be the office manager at grace community church, a position i have held for over 3.5 years. i'm embarking into exciting new territory, and i'll keep y'all updated on what it is and how it goes! for now, wish me luck as i wrap up a huge job into training manuals, job descriptions, and goodbyes.

~ on the lighter side (and maybe "radical life change" is a stretch), i cut my hair.
it's amazing what a little haircut (and lighting and photoshop and chapstick) will do for you!

*seriously, blogger spellcheck, give up already.
**no, we're not pregnant. stop asking.