Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Trees Trees Trees: part 2

Long, long ago in the not to distant past I wrote this: Trees Trees Trees. And then I waited. And waited. And waited. And then thought, "how rude, that I gave them money and then they don't send me my stupid trees that they promised."

They finally arrived, on December 24th. Merry Stickmas!

Yup, I now have 12 sticks. I have three Eastern Redbud sticks. Four White Flowering Dogwood sticks. Three Goldenraintree sticks, and two Crapemyrtle sticks.

I went to the great and wondrous Home Depot (on December 26th) and bought pots and soil for the sticks and went to town potting the twelve sticks.
don't worry, I made little labels so I know which stick is which

Obviously, I can't plant all twelve sticks in my yards. Well, I could but then I wouldn't have a yard anymore, I'd have a stick forest. (for some strange reason, I like mowing my lawns) So, here is the deal. If all twelve sticks survive and take root and live. (I don't have the greatest track record with trees) Eight of said sticks are up for grabs. I want to keep one of each for myself obviously, and I will find places for them in my yards. So come spring/summer, and I haven't killed them with love, kindness, and water, and they bloom and grow leaves and stuff, I shall post again who has survived. And whomever said they want one or two can come pick them up.

Live long and prosper little sticks!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Picture Number 4

The Not So Random Photo Project

Balsam Forbay, Sierra National Forest, California. 2006

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Guilty pleasures in the mail and the appropriate amount of boobage

Sorry to have not posted anything substantive in a while, but depression and hermitisim happens, so just deal with it. I thought I had broken out of it a week or so ago, even amongst the "bad news" I can't/won't share with you here. And my dark mood has lessened and I can make my co-workers snort in laughter. so things are better.

But that is not why I'm posting today. Today, I am posting because THIS arrived in the mailbox!
Also super excited (as excited as someone like me can get) that the Season 2 premier is this Monday, and I have the day off of work so I can actually be super geeky and be on twitter and tumblr all day and be all "OMG super duper excited I can hardly keep myself from squeeing". Because I totally say things like that in the company of actual human beings.

This show struggled, poor ratings (it's on the CW for christ's sake), retooled halfway through it's first season, late pickup of the second half of the season, and late renewal. So apparently it has been "retooled/revamped" some more for it's sophomore debut. Let's face it, the second season of a struggling show is always the make it or break it season. Case in point, Human Target that aired on FOX a few years back. It's first season struggled with ratings but got renewed, got "retooled to gain more viewers" and totally lost it's original viewers and got canned. Another example is Body of Proof from ABC... i think. I never really watched it. But it got cancelled after it's first season then got a reboot and got uncancelled and aired it's second season and got cancelled again. Those are some examples of second season downfalls, which has nothing to do with Mark Valley, I swear. However, some shows got even better in their sophomore years. Nikita was awesome in it's second season. So was Haven. Haven is in it's fourth season now on SyFy and Nikita will air it's final short season 5 on CW this fall/winter. So we shall see how my little guilty pleasure holds up on Monday.

Also I wanted to share THIS with you. Please watch it. It is awesome!

I've decided that I have become quite the Feminist in my mid 30's (when it comes to women's rights especially in the right to make our own choices about our own bodies, rape culture, and female role models). I like superhero movies. I like Batman and Superman and Ionman and yada yada yada. Hollywood has not made a female superhero movie. Or TV show... that has worked. When they tried to make a Wonder Woman tv show the character of Diana came off as weak. You can't have a Super Powered Amazon Warrior Princess weak!! Ugh, makes me want to barf. This little short proves that it can be done, and done right. Without Diana coming off as weak or as a sexpot with her boobs popping out of her itty bitty spandez bra. Also the actress who plays Diana in this short is Rileah Vanderbilt, of Team Unicorn.

The excuses given as to why a Wonder Woman movie hasn't been made are stupid. I like the one where "they" say that women don't go to see action/hero movies. Excuse me? Hello! I have breasts, and I like going to see action/hero movies! Or there isn't a big enough fan base. Ironman didn't even have a fanbase till the first movie came out. Duh!

Two of my favorite cartoons were Power Puff Girls and Sailor Moon. I liked those cartoons for the same reason I liked the movie G.I. Jane. The protagonist was a female(s) who were brave and strong and fought the battle and slayed the evil whatever, and at the end of the day still remained female and had girl talk and ate ice cream.

That is all for now. Off to go do some "manly" yard work.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Picture 3

The Not So Random Photo Project

Gavilan Hills Memorial Park
Gilroy, CA.
Summer 2010

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Picture number 2

The Not So Random Photo Project

Where I post a pic I took, and you get to look at it. Yup. Exciting, isn't it?

Lahaina, Maui October 2010

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Picture number 1

The Not So Random Photo Project

Where I post a picture that I've taken (I'll tell you if I didn't). I'll give you a bit of info about it. But not much else. I'll let you all "see" what you will.

First up:
Taken on a disposable film camera in December 2009.
Okarito Lagoon, South Island, New Zealand
It was raining.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Trees Trees Trees

So back when I had a real job, not that my current job isn't real, but when you know, I had like money and stuff, I used to donate to quite a few different organizations. Such as The Red Cross, National Park Foundation, State Park Foundation, Yosemite Conservancy, and Sierra Club, and held memberships (with donations of course) to the SAA (Society of American Archaeology), SCA (Society of California Archaeology), Santa Cruz Archaeology Society, New Zealand Archaeology, and Sierra Club, among others. The only one I have kept current and still belong to is Sierra Club (because I like and usually agree with what they fight and lobby for). In the past, I think I also donated to The Arbor Day Foundation because this came in the mail.

At first I wasn't going to fill it out. When stuff like this comes in the mail these days, I usually just dump it into the recycle bin. But I held on to this one. I actually read it. So I decided to do it. So for filling out the survey and donating $20.00, I will get 10 trees, and the Arbor Day Foundation will plant 10 trees in a park somewhere in the US. I think it is a pretty sweet trade off. However, I know now that I will become inundated with even more stuff in the mail asking for money/donations from The Arbor Day Foundation and other similar agencies, it's just how these things work. I think my recycle bin can handle it. The 10 trees will be (according to my survey) 3 American Redbuds, 3 Golden Raintrees, and 4 White Flowering Dogwoods. I've always liked redbuds and dogwoods!!

So I'm curious in what state I will get my 10 trees. In the lovely picture, of course it shows a lovely family planting a young perhaps 3-5 year old sapling in their front yard. Somehow I don't think they will be sending me 10 3-5 year old saplings. They better not come in seed form either. I can't grow trees from seeds. I've tried and failed. My best guess is that they will come to me like my now dead Spruce that came with the Wall-E DVD. He came in a tube.

I've decided I will keep you all posted on the 10 trees. When they arrive, how they arrived, in what condition they are in, etc. Also, I don't have space for 10 trees. So if I can keep them alive and get them big enough to safely plant in a yard, and you live nearby... let me know, you may get a tree.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


While I couldn't sleep the other night, waiting for the weird bout of heartburn to go away (apparently had too much milk, the horror!) I decided to read some of the posts i'd written that had the most page views. I was trying to figure out what I say in those that I don't say in the others and why they get more views than most of the others. I have some theories, but that isn't what this is about. I also re-read the post I had written 2 months ago and pulled off the blog and sent back to the "draft" box because I was scared it was too personal or revealing. I've decided it's a good post, and would possibly fall under "would get more views than others" category. Still debating, may remain in "draft" forever.

When I originally wrote it, I thought I'd send it to someone first and get their opinion before posting it. I thought that again the other night when I re-read it. Then I thought about who I would send it to. Then it really hit me, there isn't anyone.

I have only a handful of friends. And when I say a handful I really mean it. I can count them on one hand. I have a lot of acquaintances that I am friendly with but don't hang out with them, or share friendshipy things with them. And even the handful of people I consider my friends don't know the inner workings of my nuts-o brain... not really.

Then I felt sad that my handful of friends don't really know me. Friendship is a two way street. I don't share with them the inner workings of my nuts-o brain and they don't share theirs with me. So I don't really know them either. Then I was really sad. But I got over it.

Does anyone really know anybody? Really? Isn't that the fun part? Constantly learning new things about each other? Getting to say, "I didn't know that" and "I had no idea" or in some cases, "holy crap, really?"

The other thing I realized about my handful of friends is that I think all of them are extroverts whom I see as having a crapload of friends besides myself. Me: extreme introvert to the point of being a hermit. Them: extroverts with crazy busy social lives and calenders packed full of people and dinner parties.

I love my extroverted friends. I don't see them very often. Some, it's been years. But when I do see them, they tend to bring the snarky side of me out, and I tend to shock them with what comes out of my mouth. It's fun.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

It's Hump Day on Geek Week

We are halfway through Geek Week on Youtube. I know, you are just totally thrilled. I spend a lot of time on the interwebs, whether it's Geek Week or not. Here are a few things I tend to look at while I'm online. Some have to do with Geek Week, and others, not so much.

1.) From the Colbert Report: What happens when Daft Punk doesn't show up

2.) Actually part of Geek Week: Celebrating the Mars Curiosity Rover 1 year anniversary with "Mohawk Guy" Bobak Ferdowsi. (he really does work for JPL)

3.) More space stuff from a link a friend posted via Facebook. Video of Shuttle take off via cameras on the Booster Rockets!! (if you get nauseous, be warned)

4.) A link from my twitter feed today: 27 problems only introverts will understand. I am one, so now you know, it's not that I don't like you, I just don't want to be near you right now. hee hee, no really.

5.) Also on my Twitter feed today form TheOneRing.net (you are not a LOTR or Hobbit fan if you've never been here) (ok, not really, I didn't follow this site till about 2 years ago): Lego version of why Tom Bombadil was not in The Lord of the Rings movie.

There is plenty more, but I'll stop here. I don't think I want to show you my Tumblr feed. So I usually read through Facebook, and Twitter, and Tumblr. Then I usually get distracted by a link, which sends me to a video, then I get distracted by clicking on a different video. Then I get distracted by finding out more info about said video, which leads to searching something else. You get the idea. I go down the rabbit hole everyday! And it's fun, so leave me alone.

Monday, August 5, 2013

It's Geek Week!

It's Geek Week on Youtube. I don't necessarily frequent youtube all that much, but some noteworthy geeky things have happened already this week that are on youtube that I think are pretty cool. Even if they didn't actually plan it to be on Geek Week.

1. The 12th Doctor was named on Sunday. Link to his announcement on BBC clicky clicky

2. Today (Monday August 5th) marks the 1 year anniversary of the Curiosity Rover's landing on Mars. If you don't follow Curiosity on twitter, you are missing out. Here's a serious link about the anniversary here. click me Why does the landing always make me cry?

and here is a not so serious one. tee hee clicky clicky

3. A link to a video taken by a lady who just had a daughter and asked Will Wheaton to give her a message on why being a nerd is awesome. This didn't happen this week, but I thought it is worth the watch anyway and sends a great message to anyone who is passionate about pretty much anything. click me I dare you

4. There is a big discussion on tumblr and twitter and well everywhere online about who will be the new Batman in the next Superman movie. The rumored contenders are (in no particular order): Josh Brolin (perhaps too old? unless they are going for the older worn out Batman looking for someone to replace him thing), Ryan Gosling (a bit to... girly?), Joe Manganiello (pretty but perhaps a bit too muscley), Richard Armitage (my dreamboat, but I think would be much better cast as the villain), Max Martini (I don't even know who this is... off to google. Ok, I know who he is now), and Matthew Goode (I actually think he would be a good one. No one really knows who he is, but I like him. First saw him in a horrible Mandy Moore movie). click me, I'm not the Mandy Moore Movie

5. And finally, no actual link or anything. This is just something I've been thinking about and working on (in my head) is the lack of female comic/tv/movie/action heroes... that are actually believable and actually heroic and don't just prance around in skimpy outfits waiting to be rescued and having their bras magically unclasp. I can name only a few that I find awesome and worthy for girls to look up to and aspire too. I will give you my #1 right now, just in case I never get around to actually writing about this. Aryn Sun (played by the awesome Claudia Black) from the Farscape tv series.

So enjoy Geek Week and get your freaky geeky on!

Oh, and it's also Shark Week on Discovery Channel. Chomp chomp

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Blonde IT Girl vs. The Black Canary

Here's something I didn't write, but is pretty damn good... if you watch Arrow (or any other show) on the CW or like superheroes or good romance with actual plot and actual believable connections or actual strong female characters that aren't busty bimbo damsels in distress cardboard. (those female characters should only be used as kindling in a fire-if you ask me-which you didn't-but I just told you anyway)

the link check it out, really, I'm being serious.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Save me Lolo!

So late last night I wrote about me when I was 15 here. And I said that I loved playing a game called Lolo on Nintendo. Here is the wiki on Adventures of Lolo. You can even watch youtube video's of people playing Lolo here. I'm not exactly sure why I loved this game so much. I didn't really get into the "epic" games with huge story arcs and battles and whatnot. I would play Lolo for hours. I was obsessed with trying to figure out each level, to the point of utter frustration.

Apparently Nintendo re-released Adventures of Lolo for the Wii in 2007. But it probably just isn't the same. They probably cleaned up the graphics and music and whatnot. The re-release of older games just doesn't work for me. I remember trying to play pac-man on my nephews play station. It wasn't fun. The only way to play pac-man is in an arcade or on the Atari with the joystick and red button. I think the same applies for any old game. It only works right on the game system it was originally designed for. Maybe that's just my "old school" opinion, but I'm sticking with it.

Also before I go back to reminiscing about my cute fuzzy blue ball, there is a vlog I follow at Geek & Sundry called Co-Optitude, in which Felicia Day and her brother Ryon play old video games from their youth (my youth as well, since it was the 90's). It is freakin hilarious. If nothing else, their last vlog had me in hysterics. Just watch it and wait for them to rock/paper/scissors who gets to do the final battle. Just watch it... I dare you not to laugh. I cried. Go to Geek and Sundry or here is the youtube video for it.

Who I was at 15

My Sophomore yearbook picture, age 15.
20 years ago, I was 15. Scary to think about, I know. Once again, I have been silent on the blog. I’ve had plenty of ideas and stories to tell, but I have not wanted to write them out. I’ve been thinking a lot about my college days since the new job started. Mostly because almost every coworker is college age. That’s what happens when you work at a coffee shop. Working at a coffee shop paid for 5 of the 9 years I spent in college. Anyway, I’ve also been thinking about what I was like when I was in high school. Was I anything like my nephews (two of which are in high school, and one just graduated)? Being in high school 20 years ago was very different than the experience today. At the time, I thought it totally sucked balls and couldn’t wait to be done with it and go to college. I thought that at college I’d get away from the stupid people. Unfortunately there are stupid people at college too. I think they are everywhere! You still had to do "research" at the library, the internet was in it's infancy, and I didn't understand it yet. No cell phones, but pagers were cool. I never had one.

At 15, I was a sophomore. I’ve been trying to remember who I hung out with and what classes I had that year. I remember that orchestra started at 7am. I had sophomore english, biology, geometry, german 1, and some history class. Can’t remember which history it was at all. I only remember my freshman history class because it was the first time I learned about the Mayan culture and I was mesmerized, and government/ economics my senior year (which I cut almost once a week once soccer started).

I remember a friends mom would pick me up in the mornings because this friend and I both had orchestra. And because I had O period, I didn’t have 6th period so I got out early, until sports started. I don’t remember how I got home, until I got my license and started driving myself in January of that year. The school was 7 miles away, and the buses were cut years earlier due to budget issues.

I was in the best shape of my life that year. I was on a league soccer team outside of school. I went out for the swim team. So I would go to swimming for 2 hours, then go to my league soccer practice for another 2 hours or so. Sometimes I would play roller hockey with my brother and his friends at M&M prison (my old middle school) before soccer practice that was also there. That year I also played soccer and softball for the school. I was always playing something because one sport would start a few weeks before the previous one ended. So I was in great physical shape that year.

It was the year I also grew my bangs out. It was the only year I ever did not have bangs. To this day, 20 years later... the bangs are back to stay. I never really fit in at high school. I wasn’t popular, but no one really was there because there were over 4000 students. I didn’t have a click or group of friends that I stayed with all four years. In fact, every year was different with different friends at break and lunch. I tried out the Christian club people freshman year and didn’t like them (a bit to high and mighty), I went to chess club with a friend whom I’d known since I was 2 years old from church, but was bored because I don't like playing chess unless it's Battle Chess! I also tried hanging out with her skater friends. I went to science club, I liked blowing up balloons with the bunsen burners and roasting marshmallows. I didn’t fit in with the “sports/jocks” people. I didn’t fit in with the churchies, I didn’t fit in with the science nerds, or the skaters, or the arts kids, or any other group. A lot of the time at break (15 minutes) I would just walk around campus. I know I spent some time with my friend that I knew since age 2. She was a Junior and let me hang with her and her friends. So when I couldn’t find anyone I knew I would find her. My childhood best friend with whom I went to school with since kindergarten had found her place and people with whom she could hang out with at break and lunch (the hill). The friends who I ate lunch with my freshman year... were no longer friends with me. So I leaned on my church friend. We had never gone to the same schools until high school. We had orchestra together. And once I got my drivers license in January of that year, sometimes I would go pick her up and we’d go to Denny’s for breakfast instead of going to orchestra. She was also on the softball team with me that year. We would sit on the bench during games a practice our sunflower seed spitting.

I went through my closet looking for any writing I had done that year. I don’t have any. I have stuff from middle school and every year of high school, except sophomore year. I couldn’t remember why. Then I got my yearbook out because I was also looking for a photo of me from that year and couldn’t find one. I had Mr. Shin for English that year. I hated that class. I don’t remember any assignments or books I read that year. All I remember is that it was second period and there were a bunch of f$cking idiots in that class and Mr. Shin had a hard time controlling them. And one of those f$cking idiots set off a stink bomb once and he made everyone stay in the classroom through break because no one copped to doing it. That’s all I remember of that class. I hated it. I loved freshman english. I didn’t like my junior english teacher but he challenged me to think for myself and not rely on what I was told to think or believe. I loved senior english. I had the same teacher as my sister did 8 years earlier, and she fostered my love of writing.

So honestly, I don’t remember a lot of high school, and a lot less of my sophomore year. I didn’t fit in anywhere, but was never bullied. I don’t think I got shat on by a seagull that year. I turned 16 that year and got the 1988 Mazda 323 stick shift. It was my mom’s car, and then it was my brother’s car. That year he bought his first car on his own, a Jeep. So I got the Mazda when I turned 16. It smelled like my brother’s armpit sans deodorant. He had always left his stinky hockey gear in the car. And I remember when he drove me to school my freshman year (his senior year), I sat in the back with his surf board and his surfing buddy for the day in the front. He’d drop me off and ditch that day and head to Santa Cruz. He’d come back to pick me up... some days a bit later than others. I never really saw my brother much during school my freshman year, but I sure was glad he was there. But back to my sophomore year. It was the year I got my first job too, at the video store that my sister had worked at when she was in high school. Having older siblings was cool. They got you jobs and cars and free rides to school (even if mom had to pay him). Because of the job at the video store I started watching a lot of movies and playing video games. I got to take home the Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, or the Sega Genesis. I like playing Lolo, Sonic, Mario, a beach volleyball game, and a space racing game, and many others, but Lolo was awesome. He was a blue ball that was trying to save Lala, a pink ball from some evil dude who locked Lala in his castle. And Lolo had to solve these puzzle type games. My boss at the video store was so obsessed with beating the game that he racked up $100's of dollar phone bills calling the Nintendo help line. This was back before the internet people!!

What I learned that year was that I wasn’t as cool as I thought or popular. I wasn’t a great swimmer or soccer player or softball player, but I was good enough. Playing violin in the orchestra was still fun, and I looked forward to our concerts, again, I wasn’t great, but was good enough. I was still taking private piano lessons. I learned to drive. The day I got my license I stalled it on the hill at the corner of Landess and Piedmont, and hit the bumper of the car in front of me in the drive thru at McDonald’s... and stalled it. I was conscious of my self-consciousness and self image. I still went to church and youth group, but I didn’t fit in with them either. I knew my family weren’t rich or poor. I knew I had it pretty good. But I also never took it for granted. I got myself up every morning. I made my own lunch or saved a few dollars and braved the chaos that was the snack bars. I did my own laundry. I did my homework. Got good grades. And that’s about it. I sure as hell didn’t know what I wanted to do or study in college yet.

So that was me, sophomore year, 15 years old. Junior year was the  first stamp in my passport (German exchange program. I spent 6 weeks in Germany, it was awesome). It was also the year I started to think for myself. Senior year had it’s moments, but I couldn’t wait to graduate and get away from all those stupid people. I also never dated in high school. I had a few crushes but I thought they were above me or unattainable, so why even try. I didn’t go to prom either. But I had no desire to. So there you go.

Maybe the next post will be who I was at age 20. Oooooo, so exciting. Not really.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Trekking: Skyline to the Sea Day 3

Day 1 is here and Day 2 is here

Day 3 was by far the most beautiful of the trail. I would have enjoyed it more if all I was carrying was a day pack instead of the monstrosity I had on my back. By the end of the day, I was almost having neck spasms. But I’m not a quitter or a complainer... much.

I was the first to rise this day. We had both slept better, mostly because we were so tired and achy, but that’s beside the point. Milkshake (my adventure buddy’s name today) was having issues getting her shoes on... I won’t elaborate, but 20 minutes later she was out of the tent and we took it down for the last time and I heaved it onto my back for the last day.
I'm smiling... on the outside

Milkshake got some more nasty blisters on her feet. I gave her all the blister band-aids I had in my first aid kit. She was a trouper. She didn’t complain much about them. I know they hurt her. (speaking from experience here, I know her pain) She said when she got home she would immediately throw these shoes away, never to be worn again... ever!
she was like, check out these crazy ferns, take my picture!

I didn’t eat much for breakfast. I was over the trail food. My appetite was almost non-existent. Which is not a good thing when you’re exerting/burning more calories than you’re taking in. But I knew it was the last day and that I was going to eat a ginormous cheeseburger and extra ginormous soda and a milkshake when we got back into town. So trust me, it evened out in the end.

The first part of the trail heading out of Big Basin Headquarters was OH MY GOD YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME!!! Uphill. All morning, both of us were saying, “we would have not been able to do this yesterday. I would have died.” It was pretty much uphill the first hour. Made it to the top of a mountain or something and saw the warning sign for this particular portion of the trail. Like you couldn’t have posted that freaking thing at the bottom???? Seriously, park ranger people!!

So the part from the top of the mountain to Berry Creek Falls was the most spectacular. This part of the trail I would love to do again, anytime, with just my day pack. It was breathtaking. Added bonus, it was now all downhill... almost to the very end. Milkshake was mesmerized by it all. I think she forgot about her blistered feet and her aching legs. I almost forgot about my aching back. But I was too consumed about time, now that our last day was between 12 and 13 miles, and whether or not our ride would be sitting at the beach for hours on end waiting for us. (I didn’t need to worry at all because we were at the beach for all of 5 minutes before Milkshakes husband pulled into the parking lot)

We sat down on a bench with a view of Berry Creek Falls and had a snack and up walked Little IT Guy. He said he was right behind us when we left camp that morning. And he caught up to us when we were resting at the falls. We chatted a bit, said our goodbye’s in case we didn’t meet up again, and he carried on. Milkshake went off to go pee in the woods, and then we were off again for the last stretch of the trail.

The last 4 to 5 miles minus the last mile to the ocean, was on a wide gravel path that horses and bicycles can also travel on. We saw a biker, smelled and noticed how healthy some horses were but never actually saw any horses. And we caught up to Little IT Guy. Chatted again, said goodbye again, and passed him up. We stopped to bandage Milkshake one last time and spent the next mile or so with Little IT Guy. We came up to a hiker coming the opposite way with a full pack and stopped him to ask where he was coming from and how far we still had to go. He said something about a sign about 200 yards ahead that says 1.5 miles or something. We thanked him, and moved on all excited that we were almost there, and Little IT Guy chatted with him some more. Kindred spirits and all, they even had the same backpacks.

That silly hiker dude does not know 200 yards if it kicked him in the ass. We didn’t hit that sign for probably three quarters of a mile or something. At least that’s what it felt like to me. I had to stop and relieve my back or it was going to revolt. I told Milkshake that I knew we were almost done but I just needed to stop one last time. While sitting and stretching, up came Little IT Guy, and he proceeded to tell us how stupid the silly hiker dude was. He said that silly hiker dude was seeing how far he could go today because he was doing the Grand Canyon the next day. Little IT Guy was all, “you don’t go and spend all your energy the day before a big backpacking trip. He’s going to be so tired and wasted.” Those weren’t his exact words but he basically said that guy was just stupid. Little IT Guy went ahead of us because Milkshake decided she needed to test out the bathroom at the trail camp we had stopped at. She came back with a report of “that is the worst bathroom out here.” Good to know.

We cinched up the packs, one last time. We came to a sign that said, Hikers go this way, horses and bikes that way. We debated which to take and decided we were going to stay authentic and take that hikers route. DEAR LORD, it was uphill again. Ugh! Milkshake was swearing we were going to wrong way and we’re on the wrong trail. We finally came to a clearing on the rocky cliff wall we were on and saw the ocean! We were on the right trail. And we were almost there. We were almost to the ocean! You could smell it!!

The trail got pretty narrow and overgrown in spots and of course I was wearing shorts today. And I got some nasty stinging nettle in the back of my calf. Holy hand grenade, it hurt! It didn’t stop hurting till the next day.

We made it to the last trail camp at the little ranger station on Hwy 1. Little IT Guy was sitting at a picnic table eating his lunch. So we said our goodbye’s to him one last time and wished him luck on his return journey and on his backpacking trip on the John Muir portion of the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) with his daughter. We walked out of the park, crossed Hwy 1, threw our packs on the pavement... if we could throw, that is. I proceeded to take off my shoes and socks and headed for the water. It was freaking windy and cold, so no running into the water, but it wasn’t a complete trip for me unless I got my feet wet.

Milkshake had gotten one shoe off by the time her husband showed up. I was on my way back from the water. Milkshake and I were both glad we kept true to the trail and didn’t take any short cuts or deviations. Her husband gave us both huge bottles of electrolyte water and drove us back into Santa Cruz. Milkshake told him to take us the yogurt shop for milkshakes... IMMEDIATELY!! Which, of course he did, because he’s cool like that, yo.

We were dirty, tired, achy, hungry, sore, exhausted, stinky, and happy. We did it. We made it... alive. Neither of us had done anything like this before. It was great to get away from the world for a while and actually experience... the world. It was beautiful, quiet, and peaceful. It left me sore and walking funny for a few days but it was refreshing and left me invigorated and inspired. For what, I don’t know.

I highly recommend doing a backpacking adventure at least once in your life. I did it. And I know now that I don’t like backpacking. I like hiking. And I like camping. But I don’t like carrying everything on my back. I am not a sherpa.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Well, I'm Impressed anyway

I did this to my thumb

 With this lovely mallet

While making this paver patio in my parent backyard!

Considering all the tools and power saws I used, this one small injury is nothing but miraculous. Impressed I didn't loose a finger or an eye... or Quirk the Cat.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Trekking: Skyline to the Sea Day 2

What the Peacock?!

It’s finally day 2. A lot has happened since day 1... not to me, but for others a lot has happened I’m sure. I was just being lazy and not wanting to write anything. But here we go, anyway.

Look at us, we made it through the night! I'm just as shocked as you are!

And yet, we never made it to our pre-designed camp. We only made it to Jay Camp at Big Basin Headquarters. We broke camp at Waterman Gap and were on the trail by 8:30-9:00am. A lot of this was uphill. Chaos, who’s name is now Hot Topic (not after the store in the mall, just wait, you’ll see), said it was hot. It was not hot, maybe got up to 73? Maybe.

Both of us were already sore. Hot Topic’s calves and for me it was my shoulders and upper back. Repacking the backpack seemed to help. But only for the first 2 hours or so. I thought we could make it to Big Basin Headquarters by noon. That was a somewhat miscalculation. Then we recalculated once we realized how far we had actually not gone by our first break to 2 pm. We hobbled in at 2:30pm. And I mean hobbled. Backpacks went onto a picnic table and we hobbled into the camp store for its-it’s and drinks. But in between the its-it’s and breaking camp, Hot Topic got a blister. Complained about the heat. Thought that we must have gone miles when in fact we had only gone 0.8 miles. We got eaten by mosquitoes. Went over a giant sandstone batholith. Hot Topic said it was hot again. While on the batholith, she kept saying she was going to push me over the edge.

She's smiling, but what she is really saying is, "I hate you right now, and I am so throwing you over the edge!"

I kept telling her, she volunteered for this and that once we get to Headquarters, there’s ice cream. ICE CREAM!! She was dragging and hurting. I was a bit too, but I kept thinking we’d make it to Sunset Camp and I didn’t want to admit failure. A few hours before hitting Big Basin Headquarters, Hot Topic informed me, she would not be able to do another 5 miles to Sunset Camp. Quitter! Ok, not really, because, honestly, I wouldn't have made it either, or I would have and have turned into a swearing angry cranky worse than PMS woman child by the end and left Hot Topic on the trail to fend for herself. We'll not go there, okay?

We had caught up with Little IT Guy about 3 miles outside of Big Basin Headquarters. We walked with him for a while. We stopped so I could get a water bottle out of my pack and so Hot Topic could pee about 1.3 miles from Headquarters. We were soooooooo close!! But there was a park bench!! During this time Little IT Guy passed us. He was staying at Jay Camp in Big Basin Headquarters.

So, when we hobbled into Headquarters who did we see eating an ice cream cone? Little IT Guy of course. He had said he had checked in with the ranger and said that there was room at Jay Camp. So after our its-it’s, Hot Topic laid down on the picnic table and I hobbled over the the Ranger Station. I asked if we could stay at Jay Camp instead of Sunset Camp, because we were not going to make it. The Ranger said no problem. I gave her our permit and I asked if we could pay here. She said, “You didn’t pay already?” Nope. Sorry. I didn’t know we were suppose to pay our camp fees at Castle Rock Headquarters before we began the adventure the day before. That was 3 miles in the other direction of where we were dropped off. I didn’t know. But I do now. The Ranger was cool about it, and I told her I now do not feel any guilt about not paying yet.

We did 10.5 miles today. And because we didn’t make it to Sunset Camp, tomorrow will now be close to 13 miles. Sure hope it will be easier and that Hot Topic will be okay. (She informed me that she took 3 vicadin and 2 aleves today)

We put the packs back on for the last time... today and hobbled over to Jay Camp. Oooh actual flush toilets and sinks and showers! Big Basin Headquarters is awesome.

I was shocked and slightly amused by the fact that although Hot Topic has lived in Santa Cruz her entire life, she has never been to Big Basin before. I came here almost every summer with my dad and brother when I was a kid. Creek walking, jiffy pop, campfire with the rangers, and roasting marshmallows, hiking with dad, scary showers with the spiders, some of my fondest memories of my childhood are here. So anyway, we set up camp, said hi to Little IT Guy, and set off on the Redwood Trail to introduce Hot Topic to the wonders of Big Basin and Mother and Father of the Forest. We also stopped in at the Sempervirens Room and the Nature Museum. Walking without the packs was nice. And Hot Topic loved seeing the trees. Not that we didn’t see trees all day, but she kept saying “look how big this one is”, and I kept saying, “there are bigger ones, just wait”.

Tomorrow we will need to get up early so that we can actually get some beach time! We saw several banana slugs and three deer and only four day hikers on the trail before we got near Headquarters. I asked Hot Topic if she wanted to add anything: It was cool going in and out of different vegetation zones all day (Chapperal/ redwood forest/ oak woodland), and although the sandstone batholith was hot, it was cool. Did I mention it was hot? And the penis and vagina tree were really cool (aka Father and Mother of the forest). Here is her proof:

In Mother of the Forests vagina

pointing out Father of the Forest's penis

Oh and we only almost got lost twice. I’d say Day 3 will come shortly, but since it took me over a week to get to day 2, who really knows.
I'm just going to look up this tree for a while
 Click here for Day 1               Click here for Day 3

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Trekking: Skyline to the Sea Day 1

a three day backpacking adventure of about 30 miles through Castle Rock and Big Basin State Parks
Day 1:

Saratoga Gap (the intersection of hwy 9 and hwy 35 in Saratoga California) to Waterman Gap trail camp. Total of 6.4 miles. 7 for us because we started on the wrong trail. D’oh! Face palm!

I got to My life is Chaos’ house in Santa Cruz around 9:30am. Her husband and wild child dropped us off at the wrong trail head, which I thought was the right trail head by 11:00-11:30am. After of course we had to first go to New Leaf market (super hippy grocery store that you only find in places like Santa Cruz) because she hadn’t had breakfast yet and husband needed coffee and she had eaten the chocolate for the trail already. Then after wild child's second coconut water, realized she had forgotten to pack the apples and carrots for the trail. So back to the house of chaos. Finally on the road, up hwy 9.

Got to the intersection of hwy 9 and 35 and thought there would be some sign or obvious trail head at the obvious parking lot, but nooooooooo. Chaos’ husband needed a cigarette by then, so parked there and let us loose. So here is us at the wrong trail head. See how happy and clueless we are?

After a bit down the wrong trail, Chaos needed to pee and kept saying “this doesn’t feel right, I think we are going the wrong way”. Fine. After her first squat in the woods I got the map out and sure enough... wrong trail. Went back up the trail and back out to the parking lot, crossed hwy 35 and started walking down hwy 9 and saw the right trail head sign. Here we are at the right one. Yay!

Almost the entire first day was next to hwy 9 and crossed it several times. Only saw two day hikers. We stopped for lunch at the Sempervirens (have you googled this yet, Chaos?) Point lookout. Which was not quite our first day halfway point. A lady came by and asked us where the entrance to Castle Rock State Park was (we were in Castle Rock) and I felt really proud of myself when I busted out the map and knew where we were and where she needed to go. Boo-yeah.
getting lunch out

our view during lunch

back on the trail

Made it into Waterman Gap Trail Camp by 2pm.

There was only one other person there. Ms. Chaos said we should go talk to him in case he was a serial killer. Because apparently if you talk to a serial killer, he is less likely to serial kill you. Ok. He told us there was a camp site down the hill if we wanted. We went down there and saw this:

Chaos decided it was made by meth cookers and that she will not sleep anywhere near it. So back up the hill to where we initially decided to set up camp. Our potential serial killer was listening to the Giants game on his radio. After talking with him, we decided he was not a serial killer and just a short, retired IT guy who loves gadgets and gizmos. He is training for a 21 day backpacking adventure with his daughter on the John Muir portion of the Pacific Crest Trail. He is out “testing” his equipment. You go, little IT guy!

We set up the tent, no problem. Got the cook stove out and hooked up the little propane tank and got dinner started. Gourmet dinner of ramen noodles! I bumped the stove and spilled all the ramen and water out. Oops. Luckily, Chaos had packed extra. So started over with new water and ramen noodles. After dinner, little IT guy came over and showed us his cooking equipment and what he had for dinner and told us about the raccoons. I knew that raccoons would get into our food if we didn’t properly store it. He suggested that we put it in the bathroom. It was the cleanest bathroom ever, just didn’t have any toilet paper. (Chaos brought a role though, so all was right with the world) So we did. He also put his bear box in there too. He said he didn’t want to hear the raccoons scratching at it all night. He has a gadget to repel raccoons, by the way. Ok.

By 6pm, the mosquitoes were so bad that we retreated to the tent. The Deet was not working. Not knowing what to do with ourselves at 6pm inside our tent, we were both close to sleep by 7pm. How sad is that? Not even dark, and Chaos is snoring.

The first day wasn’t too bad. Our backs were sore from the packs, but my feet and legs felt good. Saw two banana slugs, heard the raccoons and some deer once it got dark. I would sleep for maybe an hour or two and then wake up, re-adjust, and sleep another few hours and wake up again. I did not get cold though. I always get cold when camping. That was the one thing I was most paranoid about this entire trip, was being cold at night. But it was all good. Even after I had to break out of the cocoon in the middle of the night to go relieve the bowels. Yay!

Day 2 coming soon: where Chaos gets a name change and tries to throw me off a cliff.

Click here for Day 2                  Click here for Day 3

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I'm so sorry

My sincere apologies... to all 20 of you who actually read this. For? Writing on and on about my exercise routines and workout progress. I don’t care about yours, so why would you care about mine? I don’t care that you did yoga today at the beach or ran your fastest 5k or that you’re training for your next marathon. That’s great and all, and more power to you, but still, I don’t care that you can do 200 squats or that you rode your bike 30 miles, and I certainly don’t need to see it.

So why in the world would you be even the slightest bit interested that I can now run a 5k and still breathe normally? You’re not, are you? I didn’t think so. So I promise from now on I won’t write about it. Unless it’s funny. Like today, I almost inhaled a bee and almost tripped over grass. But that’s not entertaining enough. So you won’t hear about me running or anything else unless I do actually inhale a bee and get stung on my tongue or trip over grass and do a face plant into dog shit. Or get chased by a rabid chihuahua and run smack into stop sign. That’s funny. And trust me, all of these scenarios are likely in my future... trust me.

So again, I’m sorry for torturing you. Now on with the drivel about other stuff and such.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

thinking positive

I woke up this morning and told myself, "It is going to be a good day". I said that several times to myself while forcing myself out of bed.

And it turned out to be a good day. Who knew. Why?

1.) My favorite show is on tonight *fangirling

2.) Fun stuff was on twitter and tumblr today *made me lol and lmao literally

3.) Perhaps most importantly, but still #3 on my list is I got a job today.

It's just part time, minimum wage-ish (slightly higher, I hope) at a coffee shop. But it will help pay the mortgage, get me out of the house, and give me barista skills (read latte artist) for when I get my shop going.

So yay for positive thinking in the mornings. Maybe I should do this every day.

Monday, April 29, 2013


My creativity has been stifled as of late and it’s been driving me nuts. Bonkers. All the BatB stuff and peeps I’ve been looking at have inspired me to do something. But I just can’t figure out what and in what medium. I’m no great artist. I don’t consider myself an artist at all. My first thought was to draw a stick figure comic-like blog about me fangirling about something. Then I realized that I have a hard time even drawing stick figures, and there are some really good stick figure comic artists on the web. Some are down right hysterical! Check out this one. And her too. Then I thought well, I’ll do something with gifs. But photocapping is a long process, and it would be much easier to steal other peoples gifs than create my own and I’d have to find free software and stuff, and ugh. And again, there are some really funny and talented gif-ers out there. So I’m stuck. I came up with a cool idea for a book if anyone wants to write it. I finally signed up at Tumblr but haven’t posted anything. I’m collecting pictures of some actor dudes thumb to trace the act of him smashing it in a door or something to it finally healing through episodes of his tv show. I’m playing detective, it’s kinda fun. Twitter and Tumblr have been my saving grace but I'm still creatively frustrated.

What I really need to do is get up off my ass and really do something about the shop. It’s almost to the point where I either engage and really go at it, or drop it and move on to something else. Several drinks and gelato flavors have been popping into my head and art pieces to create for the book side. I need to engage but can’t seem to make myself do it. What is holding me back?

Monday, April 22, 2013

LA Adventures

So haven't been getting many hits on the blog lately. Not that hit counts are why I do this anyway. If it was, I'd be a complete failure at this whole blogging thing. Anyway, I'm here today to share with you want I did this past weekend... with my mom. So no bar hopping or crashing of movie sets or playing I-spy at the beach. Mom's not really into that sort of stuff... I don't think.

A while back I had posted on Facebook that I wanted to go to a book festival where the guy that makes the Simon's Cat videos was going to be. And my mom actually said she'd take me. And she was serious. I kind of made that post in fun thinking no one would actually take me.

So Thursday noonish she came by and off we started on our drive down to Los Angeles. I drove us down through LA and on to Orange California where we were to stay our first night. Why Orange? Well, the festival didn't start til Saturday and it was now Friday. She was going to visit two old friends. (old as in they are old and they were friends for probably close to 50 years!) And both of them live in Orange County. And Orange just happened to be smack in the middle of where they live.

I had mentioned that I had the best Chicken and Waffles in Pasadena. Mom was like, "Wha? Chicken and waffles??" I couldn't remember where it was and neither of us have smart phones so she texted my sister. Got the address from her and plugged it into Broomhilda the GPS. Short detour to Pasadena for dinner. She loved the Chicken and Waffles combo. And it was just as good as I remember.

So mom left Friday morning to visit old friend number 1 and I called my good friend Pancho (not his real name) and say "hey, where you at? Wanna play?" So he of course said yes. He drove out from the Inland Empire and picked me up and we went to Downtown Disney. It's where I met my new boyfriend. He's really fit. Even his muscles have ripply muscles!

Pancho and I had a good time catching up and hanging out. He needed to get back home and left me around 2pm. Mom came by and picked me up and then we went to visit her old friend number 2. The last time I had apparently seen her I was 12. She has stage 4 cancer and had radiation treatment earlier that day. If you didn't know she had stage 4 cancer, you wouldn't know it by her exuberant personality and enthusiasm. She's quite amazing for being 81 with stage 4 cancer. I hope I'm half what she is by that age.

After leaving the home of old friend number 2 I drove mom and I into Downtown Los Angeles. We were to stay at The Sheridan. Fancy. Got totally snookered. But I had known that, but mom didn't. I know that the fancier the hotel, the more you will have to pay for amenities that you get for free at other places. Anyway. I had to drive around the block a few times to get into the parking and loading area for the hotel. It didn't help that Buena Vista Studios was setting up for a night shoot on the next block and so the streets were blocked off. Silly movie people! But I had a great view of the cater truck from our window. Ooh exciting. (I'm being sarcastic here)

Next day was our day at the LA Times Festival of Books on the USC campus. The whole point of me wanting to go down to this crazy place that I don't like visiting normally. We first drove a whole mile which took about 10 minutes to find The Last Bookstore. A friend had posted a link to an article about this bookstore on Facebook, and I was intregued. So I just had to go see it. I was here, so why not. Pretty cool place once we finally found it. But only had 20 minutes because the stupid parking meter ate my first $1.50 in quarters! They have a lot of books, but the cool parts were their displays. And apparently they have hidden rooms, where you have to find the right bookcase that happens to be a door. But again, the parking meter had eaten my money and we were missing the Festival of Books. So off we then went to USC. Besides the urine sidewalks in downtown are pretty smelly.

I finally get us into a parking garage on campus and we start the walk to the center of campus. I get mom situated in the shade at the Stage where all the authors she wants to hear are at and I go off to look for stuff. So many booths, so little time! I went off to get tickets to the "conversation" that Simon and two other authors were going to do. I finally find the booth selling the tickets. They are free! Woo Hoo. And they hadn't sold out yet. Sweet. I get two tickets and then go off to find a booth that is selling Simon's book. Wander wander wander. Ah ha! Found one. I ask the guy how much it is, he says it's on sale today for only $10.00. Sweet. I'll take it. Then he says, "oh here's Simon the author, by the way." Wha?? My brain goes stupid. All I get out is, "Hi, will you sign it?" He say's sure, and gets out his pen and asks my name and writes out "For Kelly, All the best" and then doodles the cat, kitten, and robin. I say, "thank you very much" and shake his hand. Oh, he also asked if I had any cats, and I said yes. If my brain had been working properly I would have told him about my cat Quirk. But it wasn't. I get back to mom, and told her what had happened, and said that my mission is complete! I stayed with her through the next author she was going to listen to. Oh my god! It was Debbie Reynolds. You know Princess Leia's mom!! She is in her early 80's and she is just a riot! Totally funny and genuine person. She talked about the early days with Gene Kelly and Fred Astire. And about her many husbands. It was just fun to listen to her. Truly. Again, if I can be just half what she is by her age. Wow. Oh and there was this old guy behind me that chatted with me for a while. He was so freakin impressed that I knew who the Smothers Brothers were. And the Kingston Trio. Thank you dad for introducing me to them. I earned major props with this old guy for that. He was fun.

After her talk it was time to go listen to Simon. The panel is Simon Tofield (cats), Lauren Scheuer (chickens), and Ken Foster (dogs). It was really fun. The moderator introduces them and asks each to read a bit from their books. The Chicken lady was hysterical. The dog guy was really poignant. Then it was Simon's turn. The moderator said, "This will be really interesting since there aren't any words in your book." He proceeded to do all the voices of his characters. I could talk a lot about the panel. But will say, it was really interesting and informative and I found out that the chicken lady is my sister's soulmate. After the panel they were going to have a signing. So I go out and buy her book. Since I already got Simon's autograph, I didn't need to stand in that line too. I told the chicken lady that my sister and I had chickens once. She signed the book to me and my sister and drew us a little chicken. So cool.

It's funny that I go to a book festival with all these famous authors there and movie stars and major publishers and panel after panel about writing, publishing, any and all genres, and I get most excited about a web comic artist and a crazy chicken lady. Go figure.

We were done at the festival after that. We then drove back east to Whittier to go visit my Grandmother at Rose Hills Cemetery. After seeing her marker it was probably close to 7pm. I then drove us out of LA and headed up the 99 to Bakersfield. I know, why Bakersfield? We were going to stay the night at some family friends who live there. We got in to their place a bit after 9pm. We chatted, went to bed, got up, they made us a great breakfast. Chatted some more, and then it was time to get home. We were both ready to go home. Of course mom decided she wanted to go home via 101. I said it will take longer, but she said, but it's prettier. Fine, whatever. I drive us over 46 and onto 101. Pull into my house around 4pm.

Awwww, nice to be home. When we first left on this adventure, I was excited. I needed out of the house. I had felt like a prisoner in my own home. It was good to get out. I needed it. I needed a jolt or a swift kick in the ass. By the end I was ready to be home again. I love my mother, but I was ready for my own room without a snoring person next to me. Next time: bring ear plugs. Because there will be a next time.