Fun with apps

Did you know there’s a gif app? So easy, too! Here’s a gif of my lovely husband shooting at our LA County Museum of Art trip over Memorial weekend.

Wish I had more time to update about life and projects, and about the fact that my first group of students graduated today (I’ve had them since they were little tenth graders!), but too much is going on right now. I even had to send my husband to dinner with Kris and Becky without me. (Sad face.)


February the twentieth: The day we celebrated the presidents

On this delightfully extended weekend, Chris decided we needed to get out of the house to do something. So after stopping by the hospital to drop off lunch for our friend Emily (whose son Everett is being monitored at the hospital for a case of bronchitis), and after a quick house cleaning/editing some sneak peak newborn pics for Jen and Justin, we headed northeast to Ramona. Our goal was to find good shoot locations. We found diddly in this regard. However, this is a cool tree-enclosed path we found at the base of Iron Mountain.

After Iron Mountain, we stumbled on a park that looked promising, Dos Picos, but as luck would have it, we pulled into the parking lot right when they were about to lock the gate. Everywhere else we found that looked cool was surrounded by barbed wire. Darn you, you selfish people who own land that just sits there becoming overgrown with weeds glistening in the sunset that only benefit a photographer!

So the only pictures I got today were at Iron Mountain: Chris trying to capture a pretty weed, and the landscape facing the sun.

December Staycation: Day Four!

Disneyland day! With the Trementozzi siblings! Because Sarah has a pass now! Woot!

Oh, snap. Those are fighting faces right there.
I’m sad to report that the OSF did beat me again, fairly and squarely, for the second time now. Though not by much, he has to admit.

We played around in Innoventions for the first time in awhile. They have this new exhibit about the house of the future. Basically it’s freaking rad. Bedroom walls are made of panels that you can change like desktop backgrounds, so you can remodel your room at any time. You can control the lights, temperature, and even the theme of the room.

There was also a mirror that converted you into video:

Crazy technology.

This is me, outside the Toy Story ride. Which Chris also won, and I came… not as close to.

Space Mountain = best picture idea in awhile: Sarah and I strangle Chris while he pulls the “Captain Holz.” (See Day Two for inspiration.) Seriously, we had people commenting on our pose out at the TV sets where they show the pictures.

This is what I did while Chris and Sarah rode the roller coaster.

We also rode the Tower, Chris’ favorite, and I even kept my eyes open! Well, for most of it. I saw the view. And the plummeting cage we were in. I can’t handle going up though.

Disneyland is beautiful during Christmas time of course. 

We were all zonked after the Haunted Mansion, and ended up leaving just before the fireworks to drop Sarah off in Lake Forest, and then head home ourselves. And thus ended the four-day December Staycation of the OSF’s.

December Staycation: Day Three

Hello, blogger people! Allow me to show you around the Getty Villa, which is the location of our third staycation day.

Here’s something cool about the Villa: You’re not allowed to bring your own umbrellas, because they supply them for you. At every single door, there are bins of umbrellas. When you go inside one of the buildings, you simply drop off the one you were using, and when you exit, you pick up a new one. So instead of seeing all kinds of ugly umbrellas and slipping all over puddled and muddy museum floors, you just see pretty matching khaki umbrellas and you’re feet say in one place on the floor.

The above picture is the view from the main entryway, through the main hall, through the middle courtyard (where the statues are), and out the other door, where you can just kind of make out a fountain, which is flanked on both sides with these statues:

The best part was watching him try to hold this pose.

And here we have another of the Chris’, except this one is actually Kris. With a K. He’s the only individual of the group. 

Here, Ryan and I re-enact our infamous TGO/buddies pose from a similar time at a fountain in February.

This is Kris’ wife, Becky. Becky, as you can see, has beautiful curly hair that I’m jealous of. 

This is my hair curly. I know you feel my pain.

The umbrellas are a bit blown out here, but they’re realky a pretty tan color, kind of like the rolled up standing umbrellas in the background. 

We went on a guided tour, complete with little headsets, and learned all about Getty himself, and why he collected things, and how he got so many things he had to build a separate building to house them for all the people to come and see. And that’s how we got here today.

Irony is using your camera phone to take pictures when you have a beautiful Rebel camera hanging around your neck.

This is one of the outside gardens. At either ends of the pool are naked statues. After exploring the entirety of the Villa museum, it seems naked people statues were very popular in Greek culture. 

While we were standing under this awning thing, taking cutesy couple pictures, this photographer guy came up and posed us “better” for the pictures Kris was taking. Thanks, random photographer guy.

We also got some cutesy pictures on the steps outside the main entrance.

Umbrellas make for good props.

So our day at the Getty was rainy, non-slippery, and full of naked statues. While I’m not a huge museum fan overall, it definitely was an interesting place to spend a few hours. I think a non-rainy day would have been more fun to explore the grounds though. Next time, I suppose.

After the Getty, Chris, Ryan, and I went back to Sarah’s apartment to settle in for the evening. We stopped for Peruvian food, which was good, but pricey, then made it back to her place right when the rain was really getting crazy. The rest of the day was spent watching TV, making Pioneer Woman’s pear crisp dessert (in which we had get to get creative, substituting crushed pecans with bran cereal– Chris’ idea), and stringing some new jewelry (me). It was a nice cozy night, just resting up for our final day of Staycation… Disneyland!


November 29 marked six months of this cute OSF guy being an official fixture in my life.

To celebrate, we went to Forever Fondue, a first time for both of us. Man, is that place fun. You get to cook your own raw meat at your table! And there’s cheese dip! And your food’s always hot!

We got there at five o’clock for our reservation, which turned out to be unnecessary since we were literally (and I actually mean literally this time) the only ones in the restaurant for the first 45 minutes. So we had the 3 wait staff pretty much all to ourselves.

Okay, so I apparently have lived my life not knowing the joys of fondue. Or really what all fondue entailed. I thought fondue was dipping things in melted cheese. Or chocolate. But apparently there’s so much more to the experience.

The first part of our meals consisted of salads and the cheese sauce, in which we dipped bread, apple slices, and cauliflower. (They also brought us cherry tomatoes, which were of course left untouched in the bowl by both of us).

Then the real meal began. Our waitress brought out our platter filled with teriyaki steak, chicken, shrimp, filet mignon, scallops, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, and mushrooms. She gave us instructions on cooking times, then left us to it. 

It wasn’t like the greatest food in the world (but still yummy!), but the experience was awesome. Soon we had it down to an art as we multi-tasked between cooking new pieces and eating the ones that were finished. I think my favorite part of the whole concept is that dinner is drawn out so much, so there’s time to talk about all the random things we talk about, while we wait five minutes for our chicken to cook all the way through.

So, yeah, it was fun.

After dinner we went walking around La Jolla, down to the shore and Chris explained to me how the ocean works (something about the moon and tides and currents), and we agreed the whole idea of anything but creation is a stupid idea. Because just look at the ocean, people! It’s crazy!

And Chris showed me this crazy bridge/dam type thing down at the shore right next to the Sea Lion’s sleeping area. Somehow I’ve never heard of this thing in all my 25 years living in San Diego, and numerous trips to La Jolla Shores. You pretty much go right out over the ocean, and the waves are lapping at your feet, and it’s crazy! We made it all the way to the end, and just as Chris was turning back toward me, this huge wave comes up over his head, right where he’d been standing. We’d angered the ocean gods! So we ran back the length of the thing (very carefully, mind you), with the ocean nipping at our heels the whole way.

It was fun.

Happy six months, babe! Love you!

August 9 is not my favorite day of the year.

But it’s always better when it’s on a jam-packed, picture-taking weekend to take my mind off the fact that my next birthday won’t be for 364 more days.

(I really like my birthday.)

After the beach excursion and birthday festivities of the day before, we were ready to relax with Kris and Becky, who’d come down from Chris’ hometown of Redding for their 3 year wedding anniversary vacation.

We decided to start the day off with brunch at the Mission Cafe, which the other Chris and his wife had raved about the night before. Not going to lie, I was a little skeptical by the looks of the place. But it was AMAZING. Becky and I got pancake breakfasts… best pancakes I’ve ever had, hands down, with a side of perfect eggs and bacon. All for $6. They boys got lunchish stuff like quesadillas and turkey clubs that they enjoyed too.

We decided to do some shopping, and Chris took us down to Practically Mexico to visit this outlet mall down there. Pretty much every store you can think of is in this place. Also pretty much? We could literally spit into Mexico from the parking lot. (Not that we would. I’m just saying.) Three of us found the Mexican/United States border fence at the back of the parking lot absolutely fascinating. (The fourth had to be dragged over.) We found it so fascinating we decided to do an impromptu wall photo shoot by the Practically Mexico wall.

When we lost interest in the wall, we hit the mall, in search of nothing in particular, just killing time before we met up with some others for dinner in Old Town.

(Just to give you an idea of how I am so not kidding about how close we were to the border.)

We went to dinner at the Coyote Cafe in Old Town, meeting up with the other Chris, his wife Mel, and Chris’ sister Sarah. Kris really loves Sarah.
And he took this picture of me and the OSF. (Isn’t the OSF a cutie?)

And I took this picture of cute Chris with the bokeh in the background.
Good food. Good peeps. Good times.

Day Off

Well, faithful readers, today I find myself with a lovely day off of work, thanks to that blessed holiday called El Cuatro de Julio. Or, as the Americans call it, the Fourth of July. Plans for tomorrow are still fuzzy, but I have high hopes for Coronado, fireworks, possibly some bike riding, and hopefully more friends who are up for actually doing something on this holiday.

You may have noticed, faithful readers, that it’s really freaking early right now. Well, maybe not early for you right now, but early for me at this moment. It is in fact before 7am. And you don’t know this, but I’m not even in San Diego right now. Nope. I’m blogging from the road today, up in San Bernardino. I tagged along with the OSF today for a visit to his Redlands home. We left at 4:45am. Why so early? Because tee time is at 7:34, of course.

Rather than pay to follow the OSF and his friends around on the golf course (though the OSF would have been pleased as punch for me to be his caddy), I requested to be dropped off at the nearest Starbucks to get some real work done. So while they’re out there sweating it out on the green, I’m enjoying the pleasantly air conditioned coffee shop down the road. I’ve got internet, DVD’s, books, my external hard drive, and plenty of projects to work on.

So I’ll be here, dear readers. Think of me as you sit at home reading this later on this afternoon, or perhaps this evening, and remember that at whatever point in the day it is, I’m probably struggling not to fall asleep.

Disneyland with some cool peoples

Yippee! It’s finally time for another Disneyland trip!

And even better, it’s a Disneyland trip with a whole bunch of my favorite people, who hardly ever go to Disneyland!

So it was like the most perfect day ever.

The only thing I would change would be getting these yahoos to be better models when I whip out that Rebel camera.

I mean, come one. What’s the point of having an amazing camera, if all your friends will give you is this?

Ridiculous, I tell you. At least Ryan understands my plight… well, mostly. He wasn’t trying to photograph the guys, just fun Disneyland points of interest. I like that he’s looking through his 3D glasses and the camera lens here.

Finally! Jarrod pulls through with some normal faces. The first thing we did was hit up California Adventures to experience the new Toy Story ride. Jarrod and I talked a big game, since we were the only ones who’d played it so far, but in the end Justin of course pulled through to kick all of our behinds, with a pretty wide margin, too. Errrrr. That kid ruins all our fun.

Ducks! Remember how I said Ryan and I found baby ducks in the smaller pond at Disneyland last week? Well, they’re still there! So the group of us stopped and watched as Mama Duck swam with her four babies in a row behind her, until Daddy Duck came along and decided to, well, um… let’s just say he was in the mood to create some more baby ducks….

There’s that OSF boy.

We had a lot of fun together. Would you believe he hadn’t been to Disneyland in years and years? We showed him the ropes of Disneyland excursions, and I believe he is now hooked. Next time- geocaching at the Magic Kingdom!

Then more of this:

Then a little inappropriateness between the guys:

Finally! A real normal picture of Jesse!

And then we’re back to this. Why do I even try? Why? It’s like they don’t even want fun memories of their day.

Except Jarrod. If I can get him by himself in a picture, he’s a brilliant model.

Seriously. Sometimes he takes it a little too seriously.

They guys entertained themselves almost the entire day with their fancy new cell phones, including Jarrod’s brand new iphone. There are some ridiculous games on that thing. And I’m not sure how I feel about everyone being on their phones during the line wait instead of having actual conversations.

Then on to Buzz Lightyear, where Jarrod destroyed us all, with Justin coming in a close second and claiming his gun wasn’t working properly. Yeah, well neither was mine, and I still managed to beat that OSF! (We’ll call it a tie from laser tag the week before, OSF.)

Justin and me. Thanks for smiling for real, Jgushin!

Caught this one of Jarrod by the Grizzly Rapids ride. Love the way the lamp post in the corner tricks your eye into thinking it’s the moon shining on him.

Such a great day, with such fun people! We all stayed for the fireworks and everything, and even though Tinker Bell didn’t jump from the Matterhorn (sad, because I’d really talked that part up to the OSF), it was still a great show. Jarrod, Justin, and Jesse left after that, and the rest of us hit up Small World, Space Mountain, and Matterhorn before heading home. Great day! And I’ve got another one coming up next week, which may be even better! 😉

Here comes the bride!

We spent all day Saturday playing scavenger hunt with Sonia for her bachelorette party. Her clues kept her finding bridesdmaids up and down Orange in Coronado, from the park with the gazebo (me), to the hardware store (Zaneta), to the Starbucks (Jeannette and Krista), to the library (no one), to the pet store (Liz), and back to the park. Along the way she collected not only her friends, but the little trinkets of wedding wear seen here:
She loved it. Don’t let her “I’m not sure about this, guys,” face fool you. She loves being the center of attention. Right, Sonia? Sonia….?

I’ve got about a gazillion (read: 275) pictures I took in RAW and need to sort out, but for now I think these few tell a good part of the story of our Saturday. After the hunt, we went down to the beachside of the Hotel del (read: FREEZING!) to take turns getting photos with Sonia, and then we finally headed to dinner at Miguel’s, one of my absolute favorite restaurants with the best chicken strips ever. 

From there we headed to Jeannette’s for some good ol’ fashioned slumber partying, complete with pillows, cheesecake, sour patch kids, and presents. Unfortunately, these are the kind of presents we refer to as unmentionable, so we’ll just skip that part. Um, and the next part. So then… wait… nope, can’t talk about that either. Let’s just say eventually everyone headed off to lullaby land, with the exception of Sonia and me; we stayed up till three a.m. catching each other up on life and love and all the sorts of things roommates usually talk about late at night. Or at least the stuff we used to talk about late at night. 
So congratulations to Sonia, who gets married next Saturday (!) to her best friend Paul Breuninger. Can’t wait to celebrate with them!