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Feb. 17th, 2014

my unedited rant to the Necco Company re: their choice to ruin their product

I'll call this the preggo version of a drunk rant... Pregnant ladies get drunk on hormones and end up drunk-emailing the customer service representatives of the Necco Company when they're left alone on a Saturday night.

I've been meaning to post this for a while and I've been putting it off because I wanted to add more to it, but reading the exchange between me and the Necco customer service rep, Fran, again, I've decided it can stand on its own.

The Necco Company is quite good at responding to customer emails. I know this because I contacted them when I was a dewey-eyed humanities major at Pepperdine asking for a list of retired Sweethearts phrases, suggesting I could use it to make some statement about the evolution of the English language or something... I'm still waiting on the list, but they did send me a nice, personal response right away.

So anyway- when I picked up a box of Sweethearts here and found that all of the flavors had been changed with NO WARNING at all... I decided to contact Necco and tell them exactly how I felt. I typed it out and hit "send." No proofreading. Here you go:

"I think it's taken exactly 3 years for Southern California to run out of your original Sweethearts flavors because I can't find them ANYWHERE. I thought these bright-colored "tangy" replacements were just a phase you were going through. Now that's all I can get! They taste terrible! Why on earth did you ruin your wonderful product? Here's my hope: I hope that this is really just a brilliant marketing ploy to bring Sweethearts to the forefront of the American mind. You'll make us miss the original recipe SO BADLY that you'll just HAVE to bring back the original recipe which will result in a HUGE sales boost! Is that what you're doing? Please tell me that's what you're doing... that the original flavors are coming back. Please bring them back. I appreciate the long history of Sweethearts- that they date back to the civil war era... that they were once shell-shaped candy with paper messages that said things like "please send me a lock of your hair by return mail." I've seen them as a document of the way our language has changed over time. You have been around a long, long time... Sweethearts are an icon of Valentine's day. Maybe you don't think that the flavors are iconic as well? Are you trying to be competitive with the stronger-flavored Skittles or Starburst? What made you change? Whatever it is- it's not worth it and I think it's going to cause you to lose your fan base. We like how original you are!! Please bring back the original flavors!!"

I would love to watch Fran read my email. She took a deep breath and wrote me this response:

"Sorry you are disappointed with our NECCO Sweethearts/Conversation Hearts products.  For your information, Valentines Season 2012 we brought back the old original/traditional flavors sold as the NECCO Classic Conversation Hearts.  The Sweethearts and the Dazzled Tart Sweethearts are the newer flavors.  The flavors in the Classic Conversation Hearts are cherry, banana, orange, lemon, wintergreen and grape.  The flavors in the Sweethearts type are strawberry, grape, green apple, lemon, orange and blue raspberry.  During past 2013 Valentines Season we produced both the Sweetheart flavors and the Classic Conversation Hearts flavors, but the Classic’s  were only offered/sold as bulk items, the same for this upcoming 2014 Valentines Season.  These products are seasonal items produced for the Valentines Season time of year.  On website www.mynecco.com the Sweethearts are offered not the Classic Conversation Hearts.  In California area you could check with Garvey Nut & Candy, Pico Rivera, CA; Candy Crate, Inc., Hesperia, CA & J. Sosnick & Son, S. San Francisco, CA - they did order the Classic Conversation Hearts in bulk.  Thank you.

Fran
Consumer Relations"



I ended up buying 3 lbs of the original flavors from Amazon... And my dad sent me some from PDX. Oddly enough, they still had boxes of original-flavor Sweethearts on the shelves. My sister tells me, however, that the last box she bought were the crappy new flavors... weird!

Sep. 8th, 2013

another entry in this series of posts I'll title "maybe los angeles isn't so bad after all."

Among the many cool things I got to do this weekend, I'm happy to report that one of them was chilling in a pedal boat in Echo Park lake:

echo park lake
It was absolutely gorgeous and it strengthened this feeling I'm getting that this not-liking-los-angeles thing is something I can abandon since it's not doing anything for me but making me feel bad. And there are lots of awesome things about Los Angeles... like Echo Park. Even if you don't get on the pedal boats, it's worth a visit and a walk around the lake.

If you're interested- they have 2 and 4-person pedal boats for $10 per adult or $5 per kid for an hour. They also offer guided group canoe rides (you get two laps around the lake in the canoe) for the same price as the pedal boats.

After our pedal-boat trip, Michael and I found a nice bench in the shade and smiled at the canoe passing by. The guide in the back said, "You were in one of those red sparkly pedal boats, right? I saw you two kissing! ooooo!" Awkward canoe-guide! Bonus.

Sep. 2nd, 2013

I took back my river this weekend.

Most people think of the LA River as an ugly mass of concrete we catch glimpses of from our cars. We think to look at it only because, where the river crosses under the road, there are signs that say "Los Angeles River." The signs have a picture of a heron on them. The river and one of these signs makes a cameo on my favorite, often-referenced video about Canoga Park tourism - skip to about 35 seconds in.

I was fortunate enough to participate in a kayak trip along a 2.5 mile stretch of the river this weekend with LA River Kayak Safari. This stretch is an "actual" river that is mostly unpaved at the bottom. It's the river in the picture on those signs... an actual river with herons and over a hundred other species of birds. There are rocks and trees and rapids! And lots of water- so much that when I fell out of my kayak (ahem, twice), the water went over my head. I got to have an actual outdoor water-sport adventure three miles from downtown Los Angeles. It was absolutely thrilling and empowering to ride down a rapid, taking in the birds and the trees and the freeways and the powerlines all at the same time.

If you don't know the story about why the LA River is the way it is, I highly recommend doing some research of your own. It's fascinating and heartbreaking. But it's also hopeful. We have a river, guys! There's a community here that's trying to bring the residents of Los Angeles back to the river so it can be a place that can be enjoyed. This 2.5 mile section was opened for recreational use this year from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend (this weekend) and LA River Kayak Safari and LA River Expeditions took several hundred people down it successfully. They did the same thing in the Sepulveda Basin part of the river last year. Hopefully they'll be doing something similar next year too- and y'all can come with me.

This Oregon girl is very happy.

Aug. 18th, 2013

A+ weekend, guys.

This weekend gets an A+.

Michael and I took a tour of some historical buildings in downtown Los Angeles via the LA Conservancy. We got to learn about some awesome architecture, learn some cool history and ride the Angels Flight (which, btw, how awesome is it that it still exists and is functioning???). We had some french dip sandwiches (I opted for tuna, being a pescaterian) at Philippe's and then we checked out "The Last Bookstore" where I purchased a book I wanted to read for $4.00. The downtown library was included on the tour, but we went back to see if we could find the rare books room which Michael says he's been in but we all think it might have just been a dream. We asked a librarian and she was like "Um... how did you get up there?" He claims it was just open... and it looked like the Beast's library from the Disney movie... and there might have been torches... Anyway, we didn't get to see the rare book room of Michael's dreams but it was cool nonetheless. And ... I kind of like downtown LA, guys. There are totally sketchy and kind of dangerous parts of it... but there are some wonderland parts of it too.

And THEN we hopped over to Toluca Lake and had some awesome Thai food and sangria at Summer Canteen. I highly recommend it.

Today we spent most of the day cleaning which I found wonderfully meditative. I dusted and then I cleaned the kitchen floor and the top of the refrigerator, did a bunch of dishes and got some of my craft supplies organized. We went to Target and got some sweet deals on storage containers for our candles. (Did I mention we sell candles? We do!) We ate at Wahoo's which just opened up down the street- delicious- and then we discovered that the market nextdoor sells MASHTI MALONE'S ICE CREAM!!! And rose water!!! So we got some rose-flavored ice cream. And I'm sipping a cocktail I just made... with rose water.

Great job, weekend! You were awesome!

Aug. 7th, 2013

my ongoing search for water in southern california...

Now that I'm officially going on the kayak trip down the Glendale Narrows on the LA River at the end of August, I've become more aware of the water way... or lack of water in the waterway... or whatever. I noticed that on my way to work, I cross over what I thought was the LA River three times. I looked this up on google maps (another post brought to you by google maps!) and found that the three things I cross over are the LA River (once), the Aliso Canyon Wash and Browns Canyon Wash. The latter two are also encased in "flood control channels" (that's government speak for "UGLY NATURE-PURGING CONCRETE").

Following these two waterways north on the map, I discovered a large green space around Porter Ranch that I didn't know about that looks to be filled with hiking trails and bike paths!

Browns Canyon Wash starts in Browns Creek Park. I read about this place on this website which inexplicably shows a photo of a beach, but
otherwise looks like it has some reliable information... The LA parks website was unhelpful.

Aliso Canyon Park has a yelp page.That's a good sign.

Now I just need some non-homework / non-work time to explore! Where can I buy some of that?

Aug. 2nd, 2013

I discovered the Salton Sea this week

Found this while I was looking up something for work on google maps this week:

salton

And I was all like "WTF is that huge black spot?" I'd never heard of the "Salton Sea" which appeared to be the largest body of water in California. I got home and started looking at google images of the place... It was formed by a Colorado River flood in 1905 and at one point, it was a vacation spot that wealthy people would go to. They planned to build a housing development and a school and an airport there. They built hotels and restaurants and shops around it... They printed postcards. They also stocked the lake with fish. So... the lake has been dying ever since its creation in 1905 and the fish are dying with it by the thousands. Eventually all of those buildings were abandoned and the thing has turned into a massive heap of rotting fish bones. People think they're walking on rocks when they walk up to the shore and are slowly horrified by the realization that they're standing on bones.

Photographers love the crap out of this place and the internet is filled with post-apocalyptic images of dirty people, rusty RVs, spray paint and fish skeletons. The yelp page is a list of testimonials from visitors that all seem to draw some kind of philosophical meaning from it. The downfall of man-controlling-nature and stuff like that...

The idea of an abandoned, polluted and dying lake that is also gigantic disturbs me. The pictures remind me of the abandoned amusement park pictures that have been floating around the internet, only there are still living things there suffering... and people are living there too... Also disturbing that it's not so far away from where I live... and that I've never heard of it!

I had the immense pleasure of exploring the Oviatt Library at CSUN yesterday (it felt like a monastery... a temple of learning... a jewel of civilization... ah, education!) and I found their copy of Greetings from the Salton Sea which I had been ogling at on Amazon. It's about 30 pages of written history and 170 pages of pictures. I'll go back and actually read the whole thing next time. This is something I'd love to learn more about- along with the LA River (which also has a history with the Colorado river if I'm remembering right...). Creepy!!!

Jul. 25th, 2013

cheesemakers

Yes, I will pay $0.50 extra to get special yogurt from an awesome place. I picked it off the shelf and held it to my heart for a moment.

tillamook 1

represent!

Also this:
tillamook 2

bonus!

Have you been to the Tillamook Cheese Factory? This makes me miss the Oregon coast soooooo bad. The cheese factory is a bonus that you get when you live in Portland and you are going to or coming back from the coast. They do factory tours, complete with samples of not-completely-done cheese called "squeaky cheese" and then you buy ice cream. And you make a bunch of cheese jokes because cheese is kind of funny.

(no subject)

I didn't try as hard today and it was a much better day.

...or maybe because it was a much better day, I didn't try as hard?

I like the first one better.

Jul. 24th, 2013

(no subject)

I tried really hard today.

Jul. 20th, 2013

collecting interactions

I took a class last year which required me to capture a real interaction with a child once a week. We'd have to transcribe it as we remembered it and turn in the transcription. I remember feeling like a detective. Michael and I would be at a restaurant and I'd stop him so I could overhear the conversation with the kid in the next booth. I sat myself down in the mall one day and just waited to hear a kid say something... anything. I got some pretty odd and interesting interactions.

During the time I was in that class, I was always on the alert for kid-talk and that alert did not completely go away. I still collect bits and pieces of conversation from time to time.

There are two kids that live in the apartment downstairs from us and they have a habit of leaving their door open in the mornings when they're getting ready to leave for school. One day, I heard the girl say "Do I have time to tie my shoes?" which already is an odd question... would she knowingly leave the house with untied shoes? A few moments later, I heard her singing "Do I have time to tie my shoes? Do I have time to tie my shoes? Do I have time to tie my shoes? Do I have time... to tie my shoes? Waaaaaaaiiiiit, I have to tie my shoooooooes. Waiiiiiiiit, I need time to tie my shoes." Love it.

Another morning, I was walking down to my car and I see this woman walking her dog. She gave me a very kind "Hi! Good morning!" and as I was responding, her dog flipped out and started barking its head off at me. She turned to her dog with all-encompassing rage and screamed "SHUT UP! SHUT THE HELL UP! STOP IT! STOP IT NOW! SHUT UP!" I had already started to walk away around the corner, but after the barking stopped, I heard this very sweet "Sorry" from the same woman.

Anyway- I'm taking the class again from the same professor (I guess it's the graduate version or something...) and I got to work on transcribing again. I felt like I was doing actual productive homework this week instead of the loop-jumping busywork I've been subjected to for the past two months. A reminder of why I'm doing this, I guess... language is incredibly interesting and mysterious.

Jul. 17th, 2013

homeostasis

Now that I have finished one class and I'm currently enrolled in 2 classes instead of 3, I feel homeostasis returning.

Another thought: I do not recommend reading the chapter about the urinary system while eating lunch.

Jul. 15th, 2013

novelty

Getting up at 5:45am for yoga has made me very sleepy today... so I can conclude that that jolt of energy I had all day last Wednesday was due to the novelty of the schedule change, not the act itself.

So what have I learned? I need to do some kind of novelty schedule change more often.

Jul. 14th, 2013

drinks via skype.

I got to have a drink with Melissa today via Skype and I learned some things:

1. It gets darker in Los Angeles earlier than it does in Portland because Portland is farther north!
2. I'm not the only one who avoids talking on cell phones because I have major difficulties understanding what people are saying.
3. You can have drinks with friends who live far away via Skype! So who needs a cell phone?

Jul. 13th, 2013

I met the flying housewife today!

It wasn't too long ago when you, my dear friends and family, wrote me a letter for Christmas. I had found this amazing woman named Joon on Etsy who sold handwritten, personalized letters with vintage ephemera enclosures and I strongly hinted to Michael that one of those letters would make an excellent Christmas present. So... he decided to ask her to write me a letter... then he decided to ask everyone I knew to write me a letter. And they did! Opening that package was like walking into a surprise party (a feeling I know very well- also because of Michael...).

Here's a (blurry) picture of me that morning in 2011:
me and letters

As luck would have it- Joon was in the middle of a move to Los Angeles when she wrote my letter. It only took us two years, but we met Joon and her daughter and her husband today for breakfast (at the Humble Bee, of course!) and we talked for hours.
IMG_2929
These are some excellent people!

Joon's flyinghousewife shop (the one with the letters) is on hiatus, but she has a vintage shop up now here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/joone.

What a great day! :-)

Jul. 12th, 2013

and other things

random other thoughts that I wanted to share:

1. This week flew by. I thought about that as I pulled into my driveway, not really remembering how I'd gotten home. I'm not on drugs, I promise, but the habit part of my brain allows me to go on "auto pilot" was in high gear today apparently.

2. I scheduled a dentist appointment on free Slurpee day. So I ended up missing free Slurpee day. All in all, it was a big win for my teeth.

3. I turned in a 10 page paper and got 100% which is cool, but I also got 100% on an assignment that I didn't turn in from the same professor.

4. I hate it when old men call me "sweetie" and other diminutives. So not cool. Michael has suggested that I respond with something like "Sure thing, sweet cheeks" and see how they like it. I almost did it this week... but then I didn't.

5. I took a message for someone on the phone today and when I asked him his name, he said "Romano" (pause) "like the cheese." It's funnier if you say it with an accent.

dentist and fun with tinnitus

I did another thing this week that I haven't done in a very long time. I went to the dentist. They tried to sell me a bunch of services that I probably don't need and gave me prices for things and I have no idea if they're good prices... At one point, she was like "There is a class 1 occlusion"... and I was like "That's normal!" which was cool for me because I like to know things. Then she went on to tell me about how I have one tooth crooked in front and that I might need braces. I told her I liked my crooked tooth and she was like "Oh... ok" and then I also said that my husband likes it and then she said "Well that's what counts." Anyway... I got my teeth cleaned and watched Mad Men and it only cost me $45.00 (thanks, Amazon Local Deals...)

This happened yesterday- and I noticed last night that my right ear was ringing. My first thought was "HOW INTERESTING!" And then it was still ringing this morning and so I looked up "tinnitus after dental work" and read some fascinating things. My ear is still ringing... I think it may have gotten less loud, but that's something that I have no way to measure objectively. Hopefully it goes away... but if it doesn't, I might go see if the clinic at CSUN is interested in me which would be SUPER COOL! Those tests would be SO FUN. 

6:30am happened twice

I did something twice this week that I've always said I hate to do... I got up really early to exercise. Wednesday, it was the 6:30am yoga class. It felt like a little adventure! I got up while it was still dark outside and stole away on the quiet streets to the studio. I successfully got through the class...which included an upside-down headstand wall pose... feeling surprisingly alert. I showered there which was lovely because they have fancy soap and stalls so you don't have to be naked in front of strangers. I had plenty of time between the end of class and when I had to be at work! This amazed me! I got to go to Starbucks and there was NO LINE! It was the little things on Wednesday.  Wednesday was the best. The best ever.

I thought- well was it just the exercise or was it specifically yoga? Or maybe it was just the novelty of doing something different? I sought the answer to that question by going to the Y at 6:30am on Thursday. I think it was specifically yoga. There's nothing spiritual in an elliptical machine.

Jul. 9th, 2013

oceanfront property in Arizona, elevator tickets, and LA River Kayak trips

It's not too good to be true- there are sections of the LA River that are actually river-like. I have booked my tour of the Glendale Narrows at the end of August and I am THRILLED to actually paddle down the river in the middle of LA... there are actual rapids! There is actual vegetation that supports some wildlife! It's not a puddle in the middle of a concrete chute lined with oil and trash and populated with shopping carts and vagrants! Not everywhere anyway...

It's the first time this section has been open to the public since the 1930s! This is awesome, guys.

And let's add another book to the books-I-really-want-to-read pile: http://www.amazon.com/The-Los-Angeles-River-Landscape/dp/0801866421/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1373436395&sr=8-3&keywords=la+river

Sigh... I get to kick this one off the bucket list. :-)

that grasshopper was like "what a crappy picture"

So he came and posed for me. He's missing a back leg... :-(
grasshopper 2

Jul. 7th, 2013

that time I brought my family to MacArthur Park

My mother (who lives in Portland) is an avid collector of historic Los Angeles postcards. I get to look at these when I go home and there are some things that pop up in these postcards that just don't exist anymore- like Pacific Ocean Park.

When my mom (and dad and sister) came to visit me two years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to take Mom to one of these places that still exist in her postcards. I took my family to Macarthur Park... I somehow didn't realize I'd been there before and it's a place that nobody should ever go unless they're a crack 'ho looking to score and definitely the last place you should take your family when they're visiting from Portland...

But, whatever... Mom wanted to take a picture from this angle to mimic one of her postcards (she's holding the postcard):
macarthurpark

It used to be called "Westlake Park." I can't find an image of the postcard my mom has, but here's an example of what it used to look like:
westlake-park-boathouse

And although the actual park does still exist... I would still consider this something in a postcard that doesn't exist anymore. I can't go to the place in this postcard anymore, at least... The "boathouse" has been replaced with an old metal shack and the roof has collapsed. The old collapsed metal shack says "boathouse" on it even... Nobody has bothered to tear it the rest of the way down.

So here's why I bring this up today: I stumbled across a project by Diane Meyer called "Flattened Los Angeles." She has created a pressed-penny machine which produces scenes of Bunker Hill that do not exist anymore. It's a machine that makes souvenirs of a place you can't go- a place that's been flattened. They're scenes like the ones from my mom's postcards. It looks like the machine is nowhere that I can go use it... she needs someone to host the machine... but I LOVE the idea. I'm an avid pressed penny collector... I had to call my mom tonight and tell her that someone had brought together her collection and mine in a statement about paving over history! Inspired!

Jul. 6th, 2013

yoga in LA

Yoga is too expensive in Los Angeles. But I'll still pay for it once I make a bit more money.
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Jul. 5th, 2013

no apologies or writing mediocre stuff is better than not writing anything at all

I've been trying to write something on my blog every day this week and one of the rules of this self-assigned assignment is to not apologize for what I post. It's been difficult since I always know I could make the writing better... and I have a nagging feeling that I shouldn't post anything if I'm not going to make it the best it can possibly be. But what happens when I think that is that I spend large amounts of time not writing anything... and that is what I'd like to avoid at this point.

Jul. 4th, 2013

amURica

July 4th, 2003, I was in Madrid and a group of the students I was there with met at the Hard Rock Cafe. We were very happy to get water on the table for no charge and free refills on soda (that's unheard of elsewhere in Europe). When the "God Bless the USA" video came up on the screens all over the place, we cheered! Then they played it again. And again. Then it was awkward. It's a guy on his tractor in a cornfield, then the guy with his white family around a table and they get out a photo album and they sing about not forgetting the men who died who gave them their rights. Ugh.. I think they were making fun of us. I can't find this video on Youtube now for some reason... has anyone else seen this?

I will say that, as a principle, America is awesome. From a historical perspective, it's a total freak. Freedom is awesome and I enjoy it thoroughly. I continue to enjoy it- even though I disagree with how we got it. Killing people is always wrong. So is taking land away from Native Americans. And so is slavery- and not including your slaves or women in your bill of rights. America, with it's many pitfalls, though, is still awesome. Governments of other countries jail and injure and kill their people for doing the kinds of things I get to do all the time- like write this blog post.

Jul. 3rd, 2013

I don't have pica. But I do like chalky things.

Rocket Fizz is a franchise that sells nostalgia-candy (like Abba-Zabba and Zotz) and soda in wacky flavors (like Ranch Dressing, Waffle Cone and Corn... but not Lavender or Rose, unfortunately). We strolled through the Sherman Oaks location tonight and after making some not-so-wacky soda selections (i.e. I picked a lemon-lime soda because I liked the label...), I started searching for the Willy Wonka Bottle Caps.

And then I thought about it and realized that I absolutely love candy that tastes like chalk: Bottle Caps, Smarties, Sweethearts, Candy Necklaces, Pez and the Fun Dip STICK! (best part of Fun Dip). Then I got slightly worried I might have pica... or be prone to it. But then I thought probably not since these things I like are made to be edible. I need some sugar in my chalk...

I really want to read this book about pica. Evan Kleiman (of KCRW's "Good Food" program... which I think might be part inspiration for "The Delicious Dish") interviewed the author on her show and I've been wanting to read it ever since.

so much crap to do and diamond candles

I've been singing this one-line song that goes "so much crap to do, boom, boom, boom" which Michael has decided is really funny. Here's a video of me singing it:
http://instagram.com/p/bSQhDfiZVX/

He asked me if I got it from anything else besides my brain... I thought it came from a camp song but I couldn't remember the camp song it came from. The closest I got was "Boom, boom, ain't it great to be crazy?"


And in other news:

In all of the research I've been doing for this paper, I keep seeing this ad for "Diamond Candles." I finally clicked on the link (it worked, internet advertisers!) and found that it's a candle... that comes with a ring which is wrapped in tin foil, embedded in the wax. The ring is not a diamond ring... usually. The video on their site says the rings are worth anywhere from $10-$5,000 each..  I don't understand this! You get a candle and a costume jewelry ring. These two things have nothing to do with each other!! People have posted fan photos of their fingers wearing the ring and the candle in the background. Entrepreneurs make stupid things too.

Jul. 1st, 2013

it is hot. and here is a grasshopper.

Back in grade school, where they taught me to put a lot of energy into writing engaging introductions to various narratives, I remember writing a long description about a dead grasshopper. It was an effort to make a statement about how hot it was outside without just coming out and saying it was hot outside. I went on about how even this being that could survive such extreme temperatures couldn't even survive this heat and it lay on its back with its legs up, taunting me.

It was hot outside today. And I saw a live grasshopper out my office window... about the length of my index finger (kind of like this one). It hung out for a really long time, but it wasn't dead.

Here's an unimpressive picture of it:

grasshopper

and in case you can't see it, here's another one with a circle drawn around it:  grasshopper 2

Jun. 30th, 2013

odds and ends

Ah-mazingly busy with a new biology class and simultaneously writing a 10-page paper that I have read enough research for to select a topic. I spent a lot of time on my couch this weekend.

Some odds and ends I'd like to share from my studies this week:

-Bones make blood. Does that strike anyone else as odd? The site of blood-making is inside your bones. Both bones and blood are considered "connective tissue" from an anatomical perspective. Bone is the most rigid connective tissue and blood is a liquid. This seems counter-intuitive to me. I'd expect blood to come from one of the more slimy connective tissues... or something slimy that's not connective tissue!

-Red blood cells don't have nuclei. But white blood cells do.

-White blood cells fight disease. They do this by "eating" disease-causing things. They make an envelope in their cell wall, put the disease-causing thing in it and then close the envelope.

-iPads might have the potential to make alternative communication exponentially more accessible and affordable, but we have to do a bunch of research first. I was particularly inspired by this video about it.

-I'd very much like to read the book Nothing About Us Without Us. Spending all this time reading about people with severe disabilities has made me think twice about a billion things I take for granted... like being able to pour myself a glass of water, or drive a car, for instance.

Apr. 29th, 2013

dear portland, here are some things I'm grateful for this weekend:

multnomah falls
gorgeous gorge
old spaghetti factory
rimsky's korsakoffee
roadside attractions
antiquing in aurora
meal with the extended fambly
$8.00 yoga in walking distance
friends at the food trucks
Saturday Market
jamon serrano and wine on Hawthorne
friends by the fire pit
friends at slappycakes
bike parades
cherry blossoms
clean air
trees
green
peace
breathe
exactly what I needed
thanks, again, pdx.
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Apr. 16th, 2013

this dog made me so happy- and by the way, I'm DONE!

April 16th, 2013
This project started on April 16th, 2012 and the last photo-of-the-day-for-a-year is of this sweet lab that was running back and forth in the back of a truck- so unbelievably happy. Love it.

I took 348 pictures. The least represented months were January and February... not surprising to me... I'd like to make them into a book but that will take some time. I do still find myself with the urge to capture moments of the day on my camera- so I'll continue to do so. I will most likely be switching to a more user-friendly blog platform soon. That's the next project, I guess.

Thank you all who have taken an interest and kept up with my pictures this year. It's been encouraging to know that somebody was paying attention.

Apr. 15th, 2013

miss you

April 15th, 2013
Michael's in NYC doing a staged reading of Tonya & Nancy (ROCK!). I took this picture the night before he left. He'll be back soon... :-)

Apr. 14th, 2013

Sunday- post term paper.

April 14th, 2013
Only took me a year to figure out how to do any effects whatsoever on my photos... whatever.

Apr. 13th, 2013

certain thing

April 13th, 2013
Dear IRS: I worked very hard for this money. Please use it wisely.

Apr. 12th, 2013

in another life, I'll be JB Fletcher.

I sometimes wish I could be JB Fletcher from "Murder She Wrote". She gets to travel all over the world and she has friends wherever she goes with pleasant histories and things to reminisce about. She teaches for fun and enjoys some kind of notoriety... She's wealthy enough to own a gorgeous cottage in a sleepy New England town- and wealthy enough to drop large sums of money on her friends and relatives willy-nilly.

She's far-seeing enough to notice that when people are abrasive, it's coming from their own inner turmoil and it has nothing to do with her. She is not phased by rudeness or criticism. She's wise. She's warm and friendly and always knows what to say.

There's the small detail about people getting killed wherever she goes... I might not want to take on that quality...

She's also fictional and it's so much easier to be perfect when you're fictional.

drivin' nails. swimmin' in pools. shavin' their legs.

April 12th, 2013show yo' pride in the San Fernando Valley.

Apr. 11th, 2013

ladies of the canyon

April 11th, 2013the middle of nowhere in the middle of Los Angeles... people's parties

Apr. 10th, 2013

post b-day dinner w/ sharon

gif lauren and sharon 2look at the new thing I learned to do!

Apr. 9th, 2013

the big 3-oh...

30 gifIt's my birthday! Wait... how old am I??

Apr. 8th, 2013

herman munster takes a photo a day too

April 8th. 2013I don't think that's true, but that would be cool

Apr. 7th, 2013

probably not the best week to start this

April 7th, 2013seeing as though I have a friggin' term paper due... I think I'm going to make the assignments biweekly...

Apr. 6th, 2013

end of a beautiful day in malibu

April 6th, 2013
This was the first time I remembered to pull out the camera... had a day full of friends and food and very good wine at Malibu Wines for my b-day.

Apr. 5th, 2013

could spend hours photographing this building.

April 5th, 2013
I went to go see Tribes at the Mark Taper Forum- across from the Walt Disney Concert hall. I loved seeing a show at the Mark Taper, but now I have to go see something at the concert hall! I've been wanting to do that for a while, but getting up next to the building was a nice reminder.

Apr. 4th, 2013

second ever cupcake attempt

April 4th, 2013
not as perfect as my first attempt. But I'd also like to say that the thing to remember about cupcakes is- they're like ho'bags: cheap and easy. Not perfect cupcakes ain't no thang.

Apr. 3rd, 2013

best ever

April 3rd, 2013
I LOVE mini-peppers. I can't talk about them enough. They are like vegetable candy. That is all.

Apr. 2nd, 2013

you're so zen, you probably think this song is about you.

April 2nd, 2013
Reading a Sylvia Boorstein book at lunch, I was so present in the moment, that I heard the sound of this clock ticking. I've been in the same room with this clock ticking many, many times and I've never heard it... until today.   

Apr. 1st, 2013

does anybody else see what's wrong with this sign?

April 1st 2013
My guess is that Food 4 Less put up this sign next to or in front of some people from some "organization" that had set up a table and was soliciting money or signatures or hugs or whatever... like Greenpeace. "This organization" would then refer to Greenpeace. It would be more effective if there was an arrow pointing to "this organization" but clarity is not really a priority for the person who created this sign...  So anyway- Then the people from Greenpeace pack up and leave for the day and Food 4 Less forgets about the sign. Now "this organization" can only be... Food 4 Less. And it becomes funny. To me. Food 4 Less doesn't authorize solicitation by Food 4 Less hahahahha. They don't want us to buy things from them. hahahhaa. That's not what they mean. Hahahahaha.

They could also mean that they don't authorize solicitation "by" meaning "next to" or "in the general proximity of" Food 4 Less (you know... "this organization"). Still up for debate though...

Regardless- that ambiguity is fantastic. Thank you, Food 4 Less for the nerdy highlight of my day.

P.S. I just had the thought that this is some very, very, very nerdy person's idea of an April Fool's joke. Too good to be true?

Mar. 31st, 2013

the last supper (of the afternoon)

March 31st, 2013Then Jesus took the naan, broke it, and said, "This is delicious, and you should have some with your shrimp tikka masala." Then Jesus took the sparkling wine and said "This is bottomless. It's included in the buffet price. What a great deal."  Going to the Indian food buffet on Easter was probably one of our best ideas ever. BTW, if you did not see the post on Facebook, I discovered today that the name of the holiday "Easter" comes from "Eostre," Pagan goddess of the dawn (and/or fertility, depending on your source). Easter falls on a different day every year and that's because Jesus got out of the tomb on different days Catholics decided it's going to be on the Sunday following the full moon around the time of the vernal equinox. Fun fact: When I was a kid, when I told them that my birthday was on April 9th, they'd say "Oh so sometimes it's on Easter." I'd nodd my head in agreement- even though it had never happened in my lifetime. It's not going to happen until my 40th birthday (which OMG is only 10 years away now....eeeeeeeeeeeeegggghhhh). Catholics also decided that Easter had something to do with Jesus... and colored eggs and bunnies. Except the colored eggs and bunnies are probably also from the pagans. And hey- Livejournal is no longer allowing me to separate my writing into paragraphs- so sorry about that. In other news- I'd like to stop using livejournal and switch my blog to some other platform- but I'd rather not lose everything I have posted on this blog. Suggestions?

Mar. 30th, 2013

Michael doing an impression of the guy selling coconut drinks on the side of the road

March 30th, 2013You know that guy- off the Melrose/Normandie (...Sacred Fools) exit? He did this because they were selling young coconuts at "The Vegan Joint" we went to for dinner. I took two pictures. He said I should make a gif. How do I do that?

Mar. 29th, 2013

daffodils part 3 - WIN

March 29th, 2013Don't mess around with Lauren in the springtime. I gonna get me my daffodils. And get them I did.

Mar. 28th, 2013

dinosaur in the skylight.

March 28th, 2013Livejournal is ruining another of my photos. This skylight is square-shaped... Anyway- see the dinosaur in the bottom left-hand corner? Reminded me of this guy.

Mar. 27th, 2013

daffodils part 2

March 27th, 2013...they failed... don't assign any meaning to it. I'll get some new ones.

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