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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Last week, on Tuesday, we went down and bought season passes to the Aquarium as one of our Christmas presents (the other present to ourselves is a Wii!)

I was definately worth it -- visiting just twice in a year pays for the passes ($120 for 2 adults and if you have kids or grandkids that includes 2 free kids passes for the little ones).

We havent been down there in about 7 years, because the last time we went it just had a weird vibe -- there were fire alarms going off and stuff leaking from the ceiling and we just didn't have a very good time.  

They've cleaned it up a lot since then,and added new exhibits like a freshwater area for otters and a third area to view the open ocean exhibit from ground level.  

The most exciting part for me was the aviary, of course.  Jason's present to me was a teleconverter lens for my camera that gives me telephoto capabilities -- perfect for wildlife photography.



Monterey Bay Aquarium Aviary

Jason was delighted that they added two amazing cichlid tanks, since that is his passion.


Cichlids

You can check out the rest of my photos (I'm still editing and uploading) in this flickr set.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas in the OC!














Just got back from a mini-vacation visiting my parents and brothers in Orange County.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bliss

Bokeh Bliss

On vacation until Jan 5th. Ahhh...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Icarus


Icarus

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus
by William Carlos Williams

According to Brueghel
when Icarus fell
it was spring

a farmer was ploughing
his field
the whole pageantry

of the year was
awake tingling
near

the edge of the sea
concerned
with itself

sweating in the sun
that melted
the wings' wax

unsignificantly
off the coast
there was

a splash quite unnoticed
this was
Icarus drowning.

Christmas is coming...


Gooseneck, originally uploaded by sgrace.

You-know-who is getting fat.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

December is Here!


Hospitality, originally uploaded by sgrace.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Bad Mojo


Bad Mojo, originally uploaded by sgrace.

Unfortunately, this complicated marinade voodoo could not overcome the ineptitude of Al Davis. I hope he doesn't smite me or something for writing this.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Laguna Creek


If the Time is Right, originally uploaded by sgrace.

On Friday Jason and I went up the coast to some beaches that used to be private property but were recently given to the state of California for public access use. Jason said he used to surf here but it was trespassing. There is a large marshy area at the back of the beach that is great for birding, but you will need a scope or binoculars because the area is off limits to foot traffic. Jason was not interested in the birds so much as the nice array of surf breaks including a nice bowl near the point in this photo.


Way Over Yonder

I also managed to convince Jason to come to the Arboretum with me for the first time and, of course, he loved it. He was amazed by the number of hummingbirds. I can't wait to take him up there during hummingbird season!
Winter is a Lonely Song

Friday, November 28, 2008

Naptime


Prepare to Dream, originally uploaded by sgrace.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!


Take a Minute, originally uploaded by sgrace.



This morning I went up and hiked around UCSC for a while, since I knew there would be few students around on Thanksgiving. Yesterday I got the stitches out of my foot and hopefully things will be close to back to normal. I can already tell it's easier to walk and my foot is more flexible without the hardware.
Know Your Place

This little fawn was so fearless, he just kept walking toward me grazing on trees like a scene out of Bambi.
First Thanksgiving

My real destination this morning was the "merry-go-round". I haven't been on it in about 5 years.
World in Motion
About That Time

Back at home, the pets were quite excited about the turkey.
What Are You Telling Me?
A Promise is a Promise

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Morning, Goat


Goat, originally uploaded by sgrace.

I have this thing for goats. I want to live somewhere with enough land to have a few. Last week after my surgery Jason took me up to the Soquel Hills to see some goats he knew of. They were cute, as promised.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Doing OK


Rosemary, originally uploaded by sgrace.


My surgery on Tuesday went well. Getting the hardware out was much faster and easier then putting it in, but I was not expecting the level of pain I experienced right afterward. But, about 48 hours later, I'm feeling almost no pain at all. Quick recovery. I have to wear the ortho shoe for a week until the sutures come out, and I had to take an additional day off of work to recover, but other then that it was OK.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday's Moon


Moonset, originally uploaded by sgrace.


Tomorrow I have surgery to remove the two pins in my foot. The doctor says it's supposed to be minor -- in fact he would have done it in his office with local anesthesia if I could have held PERFECTLY STILL. I said I'd prefer surgery, thanks. I'm taking today and tomorrow off of work.

Last night we had a really good dinner. I baked a spaghetti squash, and then scraped the insides and mixed it with cooked leeks, bacon, blue cheese and cherry tomatoes. It was excellent, especially today left over for lunch.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Monarch Days

IMG_8508

This morning I went and walked around at Natural Bridges. It's monarch season, and the weather has been warm and beautiful. I found a path that goes through the eucalyptus grove to the west of the parking lot, where there were many birds waking up to the sunshine.

Bewick's Wren
Bewick's Wren

IMG_8530
Spotted Towhee

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Good Morning!


Tiki & Lola, originally uploaded by sgrace.



We rolled out of bed this morning in time to catch the sunrise down at the beach. Tiki met a new friend, Lola, a 9 month old American Bulldog mix. They had a grand time. It was a gorgeous sunrise. I'm getting more tattoo work done on my back today. One of these days I'll take some pictures of the progress and post them on here.

Gulls at Sunrise

Tiki & Lola

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Center Cannot Hold


Let There Be Light, originally uploaded by sgrace.



I cannot believe how unstable the world seems right now. Job, economy, presidency, war. Everything seems to be happening at once, good and bad. It's exciting and terrifying. Instead of waiting for things to happen, things are happening so rapidly that we hardly have time to ponder, let alone process, the significance. At the same time, there is much to be thankful for. I'm especially thankful to have a safe happy home in which to sit and write this and consider the turn of the universe.

The Second Coming
W.B. Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre,
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


Interesting NY Times article about this poem

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Masts at Sunset


Masts at Sunset, originally uploaded by sgrace.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Flashback


, originally uploaded by sgrace.

Some day we'll take another vacation.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Choose or Lose


Acorn Woodpecker, originally uploaded by sgrace.

Eyes on the prize.

We won!

Today Jason and I went to vote at 6:30, just to make sure we were not at the end of a long line. Turns out we were first, and I actually got to be the first one to cast my vote. I had the exciting privilege of verifying the ballot box and the voting machine and some documents to see that they were all empty or blank. Very historic.

Monday, November 3, 2008

This Fish...


Nice 'Do, originally uploaded by sgrace.

Wants you to vote for Obama tomorrow.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy Halloween!


Happy Halloween!, originally uploaded by sgrace.

Jason carved this gigantic pumpkin this year. It was 150 pounds before he carved it, and about 3 feet tall! It was definitely the hit of our party.

We had a little gathering this year with about 30 or so people overall. People drifted in and out all night, as it always goes on Halloween (especially on the weekend when there's lots of parties). Jason set up a tarp out in the backyard -- it worked well, since there was rain off and on all night.

I wasn't into having a party this year but I'm really glad we did. Jason insisted and he did most of the work. I put on my Alice costume and there were a lot of friends here that I haven't seen in a while.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween is Coming


Tiki Attacked by Spider, originally uploaded by sgrace.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Old Ring


New Old Ring, originally uploaded by sgrace.

Jason sized up my grandma's ring so I can wear it on my ring finger.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Usual Routine


GOLD, originally uploaded by sgrace.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Clean Dishes


Clean Dishes, originally uploaded by sgrace.

Got some chores done today.

Scavenger Hunt October 08


MSH October 08, originally uploaded by sgrace.



I finished the Monthly Scavenger Hunt for October!

1. Droopy
2. Over the Top
3. Natural Framing
4. Two-story Building
5. Because I Said So!!
6. En Masse
7. Straw
8. Closing Time
9. Avocado
10. Reptilian
11. Easy Rider
12. Double
13. Orange and Black
14. Fungus Amongus
15. That Cloud Looks Like A(n)...
16. Heartbreaker
17. Egg Yolk
18. Mixer
19. Slow Water
20. Hot Dog

Saturday, October 25, 2008

On the Road


Quail Hollow Ranch, originally uploaded by sgrace.

We went up to Quail Hollow Ranch, where we got married, and walked around a bit today.



Hiking

Quail Hollow Ranch

Quail Hollow Ranch

Friday, October 24, 2008

TGIF

Jason and I have been making homemade pizza on Friday nights for a couple months now. It started with me making the dough in the bread machine, but after a while it got too tough to make the dough on a weeknight so now we buy the dough at Engfer's pizza down the street and then I roll them out and we add toppings and bake them. Actually, I've been hand tossing them lately, with mixed results, but it's fun and they taste so much better than delivery. We stopped ordering delivery since I have finally stopped eating fast food.
Pizza!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tired Thursday

Today was pretty easy and mellow overall. It's nice to feel like you get something done even if it is nowhere near what you wanted to accomplish.
Pearls
Halloween is coming and I haven't had time to think about a costume or anything. I'm going to have to think about that this weekend. I'll probably wear my Alice costume to work, and then maybe the flapper for night. We're supposed to be having a party, but I'm not really into is as much as I was a month ago. People will still come over and hang out, but I just can't do the whole nine yards this year.
At least tomorrow is Friday! I can't believe the month is almost over and that election day is right around the corner.
Reach for the Top

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

APA Sucks

Been extremely busy lately with work and school.  It's been absolutely beautiful weather, but I've been pretty tired and trying not to be stressed from all the new stuff I'm being asked to do.
I walked Tiki today, which I have only done a few times since the accident.  We just went down to the beach and back.  She is still hard to handle sometimes, but I'm hoping to start walking her daily again.  Before I broke my foot we were walking about an hour almost every day.  
Last night I had my CSUMB classes.  I left home yesterday at 6am and didn't get home until 10:30pm.  That is quite a grind.  
Monday I actually took off work because I was so tired and worn out, and basically did laundry and watched TV.
Sunday was football day -- GO RAIDERS!  
We have been tailgating in the handicapped area since I have a placard through November.  It's cool there because you can really spread out and there is more room for each space.
Here's our set up, food, and a picture of us. Where did all those wrinkles come from?