Monday, August 29, 2011

Today has been so unusual

I actually almost forgot to blog!

I'm on my phone at my aunt's house. She lives not far from where PAX is held, and my quite awesome cousin lives with her too. I didn't get a chance to say bye to them last month, so spending today with them before my flight has been nice.

This entry could have contained real photos, but I didn't bring my laptop to Washington. The pictures will be up in a few days I'm sure. For now you will have to be satisfied with a few cell phone images of my most excellent weekend.

Full coverage of my PAX experience will be available on my geek blog, this Friday :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Adventures from the beach.

My sincerest apologies for the short blog last week but I believe the payoff for today's post will be worth it! I had my first 'true' beach excursion since moving down here. Andrew and I have been so busy with cleaning, organizing and crafting that we haven't had a chance to head down to the ocean. Plus, neither of us do particularly well in the heat (i.e. we bitch and moan when it's 70 degrees outside). Even with that fact I still love going to the beach very much. The ocean makes me feel so good. Fortunately, his mom loves the beach and being out in the sun.

Unusually pretty seagull! And some rather cute sand prints.

We set out with no particular destination in mind and started to explore near the water. She grew up very nearby to where we live now, so she had a good sense of the lay of the land. We wound up at Redondo beach in no time. There we walked the horse shoe shaped pier and found some very active seagulls. Normally I'm very much a 'birds are weird get them away from me' sort of person, but one that we came upon was quite well preened and had shiny white feathers. He (or she? I'm not sure but it looked like it was wearing lipstick) sat and posed for us for a few shots. We came across another seagull who had managed to find a small plastic bag with a few fish in it. This soon attracted the attention of plenty more honking birds, so we stood and watched them fight and peck over the meat. Fascinating business.

After our brisk walk we decided to get back in the car and go straight for Manhattan beach. That was her primary place of interest and where we ended up spending the majority of our day. It was perfect beach weather and we snapped a lot of fun photos. I decided to get real adventurous, so I walked into the street to take a photo of the pier. Watch out world, I'm not afraid to get hit by cars! (there weren't any cars)

Manhattan beach pier from the middle of the road.

Before meandering down to the sand she wanted to go to the end of the pier. I had no particular objections, so off we went! There were plenty of people fishing and the breeze was lovely versus the hot sunshine. By the time we reached the cafe at the opposite end I was actually getting a little cold. Out over the water things cool down much more than I had anticipated. The view was just wonderful though!

A funny thing ended up happening that very perfectly demonstrated to Andrew's mom why I do such a poor job at talking to strangers; the strangers that talk to me first are always total weirdos. Andrew makes fun of me for my social ineptitude on a regular basis, and his mom didn't fail to notice why he does so. I'm glad she was present for this event.

Beautiful ocean views. I really enjoyed myself.

We were standing at the end of the pier about to head back when two men came our direction. The man on the left had particularly wild hair. He looked at me and started to emphatically ask me about my camera.

man - "Oh hey nice camera, what model is that? Is that a canon? A 60D? That's great! Do you like it?"

me - "Uh, yeah. It's really good."

man - "Awesome awesome. It's so crazy man, fourteen, fifteen years ago you never saw people with cameras like that and now they're everywhere. Crazy"

me - "Yeah"

man - (in reference to my necklace) "Oh hey is that an owl?!"

me - "Uh, yeah"

man - "That's great, that's cool, owls are my favorite bird"

me - (smile)

man - "OK well, you two ladies have a good day, God bless"

And then he and his friend walked away. Now, this exchange may not seem all that bad, but my words are unable to properly convey his body language and how abrupt everything was. He was perfectly nice, but it was definitely awkward. I turned to Andrew's mom and said, "And this is why I'm so uncomfortable when I talk to strangers because that is the kind of interaction that normally happens to me!" and she laughed.

Some classic views of the pier and then under the pier! It's awesome in person.

We continued our excursion down to the sand where I promptly exclaimed that the sand was scorching hot and decided to walk under the shadow of the pier. It was much cooler there. I had a good ol' time attempting to run in the sand, all the while flopping my arms and slipping. It has been a very long time since I was at the beach and clearly I forgot how to maneuver it.

Arriving at the water's edge was a relief; the breeze off the ocean felt amazing and it became less of a mystery as to how people get sunburned! With all that cool air you don't realize that your skin is cooking itself. I wore sunblock though so worry not, my skin stayed safe.

Here's a jumbled mess of photos that I took while we were at The Getty
last weekend. I've taken similar photos before when I was there March 2010.

I'm going to close this entry with a story that is completely irrelevant to anything else.

When I first arrived in California in May to visit with Andrew before officially moving down, we started to decorate our bedroom. He has a lot of prints and original drawings and sketches from various artists and he wanted my input on deciding where on the walls they should go. In addition to all of his prints he had also purchased some empty frames that I could fill with my own work (what a sweetie!). Seeing as I didn't have anything prepared, we decided to hang the empty frames on the wall just so we'd know where they were going.

A fair amount of the frames are over the bed, and some of them are a little large and heavy looking.

me - "I don't know if I like them over the bed."

andrew - "Why not?"

me - "What if they fall?"

andrew - "They're not going to fall"

me - "There are earthquakes here."

andrew - "The frames aren't heavy enough to hurt you"

me - "Those ones are."

andrew - "Well if they fall they're going to land on me, so you'll be fine."

me - "But then you'll get hurt! Broken glass will hurt you, you know."

A brief intermission of the final story to show you some progress from
my garden! The bottom photo is the same cucumber as the upper left
photo. They're getting so big! It's very exciting.

Initially, our sleeping arrangement had Andrew closest to the wall, but then he had to clamor over me to get up for work, so now I sleep closer to the wall. My paranoia of falling frames has grown over the past few months, especially once we added one particularly large and heavy ~36x36 print. Sometimes I lie awake and stare at them, wondering how fast I can curl up to protect my precious squishy inner mass.

All has been well though, and my fears were unfounded.

Until the other night.

There we were, sleeping soundly in bed. I opened my eyes, half awake, and looked at Andrew before rolling over to the wall to snuggle deeper into the blankets. With my right arm up behind my head I rolled face first into the pillow, severely misjudging how close to the wall I was. My elbow collided directly with said wall, shaking it hard enough to knock down the topmost heavy rectangular frame directly onto my ribs. Corner down, might I add.

I awoke completely with a loud yell, and Andrew jerked awake immediately concerned but still pretty much asleep and therefore essentially oblivious to what had actually happened. Silly sleepy boy.

me - "The frame fell and hit me in the ribs!"

andrew - "Oh I'm sorry"

me - *whine*

He began to rub my ribs while drifting off to sleep, before I asked, "Uh, can you put the picture frame on the floor...?" which he did, and then off to sleep he went. I have an invisible bruise, and it does not feel good.



Hells yeah, the beach!

I forgot to share this little anecdote. 

Andrew's mom and I took turns taking photos of one another to share with our families. You know, just a little bragging rights to us being in the sun at the beach. I guess karma got me back asap though, because moments after I sent my photo out to friends the tide rushed in shockingly high and washed my sandals out. Spoiler alert, I ended up getting them back. It was a close one though.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hello from the beach!

Coming to you this week is a brief run down and only one photo. I'm currently at Redondo beach with Andrew's mom and we are having a lovely time in the sun. She flew in on Friday and the three of us have been busy since then! Disneyland, the Getty and now the beach! Unfortunately Andrew has to work, so she and I are making sure to have enough fun for him too :D

I have a fair amount of photos that have been taken this week, and also some exciting developments in my garden! You'll all have to wait until next week though because I'm out laboriously enjoying the sun, sand and ocean. Pity me.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Photos everywhere! So much excitement to share.

I am taking a break from my busy schedule of cleaning and organizing the house to bring you this blog entry.

This is Hermy. Andrew made him from a munny and gave
him to me for our six month anniversary :3

This week has seen one photo session, which is great! I finally made the time to wander and take photos with intention. I did another circuit around the house seeing as there are some new things to look at! Most of the new things are related to the fact that I live here now. My bookshelf is now loaded down with many of my favorite belongings, which makes me very happy! That may seem a little silly, but I can't help but smile when I look at my shelves covered in Nintendo and Harry Potter items.

Fun detailing such as his head ridges and eyebrows. I also really like
the curves at the edges of his excellently large smile.

 Dat ass.

In other news, I'm sad to report that of all the cucumber, onion and wild flower seeds that I planted, I have only one cucumber plant to show for it. I've never been much of a gardener, and I usually kill any plant that is left in my care (which reminds me I have to water the plant that my mom gave me!), but I still had high hopes for more than one plant to grow! I suppose the upside of this is that the one plant that grew appears to be extremely fertile, seeing as there are a lot of yellow flowers sprouting. At least three of them already have a chubby, tiny cucumber growing! So very exciting.

The majority of the shelf. You can't see the bottom
shelf, which contains all photo albums.

So many lovely Nintendo items to surround myself with!

There are a lot of tiny sprouts in random spots in the garden plot, and it's hard to tell if they're late bloomers or just errant weeds. I'm afraid to pull anything because I can't tell what's what! The most I can do is keep watering and loving. Another positive spot is that one of the two flower plants that already lived in the plot is blooming like crazy. I don't know what they are, but they resemble smaller pink lilies, which makes me happy since those are my favorites! Not necessarily the pink ones, but just lilies in general.

One of the many bunches of pink flowers that have been blossoming
large and proud. Also one of my sprouts that was savagely attacked 
by one of the cats that revels in pooping in my garden plot!

Look at all those potential cucumbers!!

Andrew and I have been making some exciting headway with the Weird Little Monsters (keep that site bookmarked!)! More sites, more designs and so much more in the works. Among all the hullabaloo of moving I've managed to finish my third monster and start on a fourth of Andrew's design. Things in the sewing department are going a bit slower than I'd prefer, but they're still moving forward which is a positive thing.

Monster number two, Rohmer.

I've been reading a really great book on sewing and there are so many useful tips for putting together really great monsters. As a result my sewing has slowed down because I'm trying new techniques. My stitch work is feeling a little shoddy, but I know that things will improve. It's thrilling to be trying and making new things. I've always wanted to be better at sewing! And it's incredibly satisfying to have a physical manifestation of my imagination.

Monster number one, who has yet to be named.

 Monster number three, who we've been calling Frenchie. That's 
probably not going to be his permanent name. 

There's finished Frenchie on the left with his hat and side pouch.
Pictured on the right is one of Andrew's designs that I started on.

And now for a completely unrelated segue!

The purging of all Nikon related items has begun. Andrew has a very handy network via his job, so he's handling getting the word out. It is greatly appreciated because I don't want to deal with ebay or craigslist. I have a lot of mixed feelings, of course. I'm glad that the items are being sold because the money will be very useful for a lot of things! I'm sad for the items to go though, seeing as I have loved them for so long and they carried me this far. But, I'm in a new stage! And I already have almost everything that I had previously, just for Canon instead.

And speaking of Canon, here are just a few more photos from Andrew's brother's wedding, which was an amazing and fun opportunity to further familiarize myself with the camera and gain speed and accuracy with the controls.

The bride and groom with their brothers :)

Some more photos of the property. The lanterns were a wonderful
and beautiful touch. The sky couldn't have been bluer that day.

Andrew's friend Alex there on the left, and then a snap of Andrew and me.

I'll go ahead and close with some information about the fashion/product shoot that I tagged along on last week! It was incredible, and a really fantastic time! I went as assistant to Brittany, makeup artist extraordinaire! She ended up not needing me much (but damn am I a pro at handing out bobbi pins!), but that's OK because that left me a little more time than expected to really take in everything else that was going on.

 This is a moon sculpture that Andrew's uncle Michael made (fb fan page).
It's really very beautiful and detailed, it is next to the bathroom. You can view
more of his work here!

The shoot was for Watto, an Arizona based company run by a very lovely husband and wife duo. They started off with only making belt buckles but have branched off into a variety of jewelry types. Their work is really amazing and interesting. It's all very chunky and loud and large. The shoot was in a garage space and the style was all very rockabilly. The models were so so so super nice, as were the designers and the photographer! The whole experience was incredibly positive and I'm really thankful that Brittany ended up needing someone to go with her.

 A teeny tiny fraction of the books that Andrew has. There are so
many amazing and interesting ones in his collection, and this 
section of Disney books really stands out to me. On the right is 
the sun streaming in through the front door.

I spent most of my time inside with Brittany watching her do hair and makeup for the models. I wish I had their contact pages so I could link you all to their work. They were very talented and professional. It was a real treat interacting with them in a relaxed and goofy manner and then watching them transform into serious, focused workers while the camera was on them.

Everyone that assisted/worked on the Watto shoot was given
$100 in credit to shop from their store. They had many items on
hand, and I am now the happy owner of this very cool belt buckle!

The shoot lasted about six hours and was fun the entire time. The last session circulated around a series of story photos with an old fashioned car. It all had a classic, traveling, definite rockabilly feel to it. Everyone did such a great job. I wish I had any photos at all to share with you all, but I have none! Not even a cellphone photo! I didn't feel comfortable intruding with my phone. Of course, if you keep checking back to the Watto website you'll see the photos before too long! Here is a sneak peek that Brittany linked on her facebook fan page (go be a fan, she's very skilled and has beautiful photos up from the shoots that she participates in!). I can't wait to see the rest of them.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Interesting things are happening and I hardly have a chance to talk about them!

First off I'm going to apologize for two lackluster posts in a row. This is going to be short.

I'm about to pack a lunch and wrap up a few things around the house because today I'm going to be out with Brittany being an extra set of hands for her on a photo shoot in Long Beach. She does makeup and also hair for photo shoots and it should be a very exciting and interesting day. I haven't done much exploring of the city, or socializing outside of the house, and I'm also extremely low on my photography meter. There's just so much else going on involved with moving, cleaning, unpacking, getting settled and job hunting that my camera has slipped by the wayside a bit. Very sad.

Fortunately, I have a few photos for you all from James (Andrew's brother) and Annie's wedding. The weather was amazing for the Pacific Northwest, and many happy faces were captured. Andrew and I shared custody of the camera to cover the days.

Annie's parents have beautiful property nestled in the woods. There were trees, animals, gardens, flowers, vegetables and just the most serene nature settings one could have asked for.

The shot on the left is just after they signed their marriage certificate, kissed and toasted. Very sweet! The shot on the right is one of Andrew's captures :)

In additional exciting news, I started work on another new Monster! He's about 85% complete and I'm hoping to finish stuffing and sewing him up before Brittany gets here this afternoon. The shot on the right is my new house key! Quite exciting indeed.

From the road trip down here last week I have some rather nice scenery photos. Sadly I haven't even had a chance to touch them other than putting them on the computer. Next week, fingers crossed!

It occurred to me the other day that I'm not quite doing everything I can with this blog. Dear readers, is there anything that you would like to know or hear about? I'd love to be providing more content!

Sandwich time!


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