Monday, February 27, 2012

February Reading, Part 2

Remember how I said I love to read? Yeah...I finished all of my books and had to make another trip to the bookstore. 

I'm in the middle of this book, and it's a really interesting story about a German woman married to a Jewish art dealer during World War I and II who ends up helping to rid Germany of it's so-called degenerate art.

James took one look at me, rolled his eyes, and said "I'm not going to see you for about four days, am I?"

No, my friend, you probably won't.

Seriously, it's a really good read.

Every time I think about getting a Kindle or a Nook, I think about how I won't have a physical copy of the book, and it makes me too sad. No ebooks for me as of yet.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I Sort of Love Giraffes

Ah, Sunday night, when you realize that there's still a whole lotta weekend you'd like to experience...

Took James to the Irvine Spectrum this week. Not being from around here and not being much of a shopper (unlike his wife...), this was a new experience.

Golden Horse, Irvine Spectrum
 When I worked at David's Bridal, one of my brides told me that her fiance proposed to her on top of the Ferris Wheel at the Spectrum. I think of her every time I'm here.

Stormy Sunday
 I turned 29 this week! This is unfortunate timing for James, because it's Valentine's Day the week before, as well as the anniversary of when we got together in college. We choose to celebrate the anniversary, not so much the Valentine's Day. If you look closely, you can see the top of our gold waving cat our friend sent us as a wedding gift. Try not to notice the dust on the lampshade...

Valentine's, Anniversary & Birthday cards
 You're never too old to celebrate your birthday at the zoo, and that's what I did. James and my parents and I drove up to the LA Zoo which I haven't been to in about 20 years, and I looked at animals to my heart's content. I wish I'd seen lions that were awake, and elephants and hippos, and I wish even more that I'd gotten to hug a giraffe, but that's life.


Monkeys, LA Zoo
I forget what kind of monkey this is, but I think it had a very bright posterior. No, it's not a baboon.
Giraffe, LA Zoo
  I sort of love giraffes. I have a stuffed giraffe from when I was born. His name is Jerry and he's way too disgusting to show you, so you'll just have to make do with these pictures of real giraffes. (I'm sorry, Jerry, you're not disgusting to me.)
Me, My Dad, & a Giraffe
 How was everyone else's week/weekend?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ringing, Dancing, Raining, Drawing

Wednesdays are my day off from everything. It's the one day a week I can sleep in, where I'm not committed to being elsewhere, and can just spend the entire day reading if I want. I can even go on day trips with the hubster, which we just don't do enough of. The rest of my week is taken up with work, choir and handbell practice.

Yes, handbells.

Here's a visual reference for you if you don't know what handbells are. The smaller the bell, the higher the sound. These, for example, are rather high, although not as high as you can go.
To play handbell music, you need a group of people. Each person plays certain notes in certain octaves, and the goal is to ring when you're supposed to and for the correct amount of time and make music. For someone who has to circle every note to play and write in the name of the note above, this is slightly terrifying when it comes to playing for an audience. (Reading music is not my forte...haha.) But, every Sunday for an hour, I slog through handbell practice with the hope of not losing concentration and therefore count of what measure we're playing.

Balloons & Dancers in the church hall
As a run-up to Valentine's Day, the church I belong to had a dance. Neither myself or James are terribly skilled dancers, but there were lessons promised by the friend who'd been organizing it, and besides, it was something different to do on a Friday night. Plus it was semi-dress-up, so people showed up in all manner of outfits, from '50s poodle skirts to 20s flappers to cowboys and '80s rockers.

Dress, Shoes, and Aqua Toes
We tried to learn to swing dance but failed when it came to actually finding the beat in real music. We did much better at line dancing. I ran out for the acapella Hokey Pokey that was sung loud and proud from the youngest to the oldest, and I think that's the only time I've ever danced the Hokey Pokey not on roller skates. 
Dishevelled Rainy Backyard
Back to my free day. It was delightfully cold and rainy today, and therefore the perfect day for starting an art project I've been mulling over for far too long. It feels really good to be working on something, and it will feel even better as I see the project taking shape. I won't say what it is just yet, but I will say that it's for the annual Tustin Art League "Scenes of Tustin" open exhibition hosted at Chemers Gallery. I've entered my photographs before, but never any other media, so we'll see.

Sneak Peek
And yes, in case you're wondering, that is a wind up robot pencil sharpener in the top right!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Days of Bliss

Do you ever get those days where you're just so relaxed and refreshed and your mile-long to-do list is miles away from your mind? Yeah, they're pretty rare, aren't they? Today has definitely been one of those days, made even more ideal by this beautiful warm southern California weather we're having.

Fullerton Courtyard
Initially I thought it would been another of the endless catch-up days that my Wednesdays (or most days off) turn out to be, filled with grocery shopping, errands, scrounging up enough quarters to do the never-ending laundry. Instead, although the grocery shopping, some laundry, and a few errands did get completely, it turned out to be one of the most peaceful days James and I can remember having in months.
It started, as all good days do, at the DMV. (Do you sense the sarcasm here? Good.) In a few short weeks I will have a brand-spankin' new license, complete with my married name. It only took me just over 3 years to do that part. (Guess this means I'm officially married...) James kindly accompanied me to the DMV (because we seem to visit a lot of government buildings together - DMVs, social security offices, immigration offices...), and rather than go home once I'd done my paperwork, we just started driving.

Fullerton Train Station
And wound up in downtown Fullerton, a really quirky area with great restaraunts, bars, cafes and shops. With such a stunningly sunny, warm day, how could we resist a stroll and a bit of lunch?

Best discovery ever! James bought Branston pickle...

My Asian Chicken Salad - I know, it's really dumb to photograph the meal you're about to eat, but come on, it was sooo goooood!
 Rounded out the day with a bit of reading (finished "The Woman in Black"), a glass of wine in our tiny yard, and a good old nap on the sofa. Aaahhhh.....blissful.

Monday, February 6, 2012

February Reading

I read a lot. Like, all the time. When I was growing up, my dad read to me every night, and I was encouraged to read if I were bored. So now, my apartment is filled with books, books, and more books. (I think they have babies while I sleep.) Among our six bookshelves in our one-bedroom apartment, I think my husband has 4 shelves and um, the rest are mine. Did I mention I read a lot?

I usually just re-read my books but lately I've been craving new thoughts and ideas. New books feel like such a treat to me! This is my February reading list and I might manage to squeeze another one in there. I don't really count the Nikon book as a through-and-through read, but it's something I'm going to try to go through. Gotta learn how to use my new camera! Boom!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

What Happens in Vegas....

Vegas, Baby!
I've only been to Las Vegas twice in my life, and I gotta say, I don't get it. It's just so....surreal! Slot machines in the airport? Really?

Anyway, I've never been to Vegas on vacation, only for trade shows - the West Coast Art and Framing Show, to be precise. This year we all packed into the Mirage to see the latest and greatest that the framing world had to offer. The last time I went, my boss and I discovered some awesome skull frames that we gleefully brought "behind the Orange Curtain," and I had my first glimpse of Vegas from a tram. This year there was a rather fantastic display of a man's body from the waist down diving into a framed piece of art. I couldn't resist the following:

*She has a broken wrist - we told many people that I had pushed her down the stairs. This is untrue.
 After we finished with the trade show goodness, we found ourselves in Venice, complete with canals and gondolas. How extraordinary!

On another note, James and my dad went fishing this week and absolutely hauled them in! James prepared a beautiful fishy spread for us using a Jamie Oliver recipe. Delicious!

Fresh Fish
Also, I couldn't resist taking a fish-eye photograph of our fish.

Fish-eye Fish
That's just the sort of girl I am.