Oct 28, 2012 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

Cloud Atlas

Today I went to see Cloud Atlas.  First off let me tell you it is close to 3 hours long- just fyi.  Secondly, it is amazing!  Mind-boggling and really one of those stories that stays with you for a while.

It takes place over 6 different time periods.  The whole idea is that each links to the next- that peoples’ lives are intertwined through-out time.  Things cannot be or happen without putting certain people into contact.  It is a very cyclical sort of idea of time and fate.  Super interesting!  I highly recommend it! (unless you have trouble keeping things straight or don’t have the patience to wait a while to know what is going on)

Lots of well-known actors: Tom Hanks, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon, Jim Sturgess, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving….

I saw it in IMAX- which was probably worth the extra money.  Wonderfully filmed, expertly written & acted.  I have to get my hands on the book now.  I am so intrigued by the idea of this continuous storyline.  I also really enjoyed that each actor played several different characters in different timelines.  It was a bit like playing a game of “Where’s Waldo” trying to spot the different characters an actor played.  Really great makeup because some were almost impossible to spot.

Apparently the parts that weren’t shot on location where shot in a German studio.  It is the first movie over $1 million to be produced & shot in Germany.  In case you are interested.  One of the future timelines had them speaking a different sort of English- as the language had obviously evolved.  Pretty cool but a bit difficult to follow as there were no subtitles and some of it was fairly far off from modern day speech.  But a neat idea nevertheless.

Have you seen it?  Will you see it? Your thoughts?


Oct 15, 2012 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

Web Design Work

Check out my web design work here! I’ve been working pretty hard to figure out how to code things just right.  And while I know it is certainly not perfect, it’s coming along and I’m learning a lot.  I will be uploading another new one tomorrow evening if you want to check it out then, as well.

I’d love to know what you think of my work.


Oct 8, 2012 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

Missouri Photos

My trip to the Van Meter State Park and Jim the Wonder Dog Memorial Park in Missouri:

Who was Jim the Wonder Dog? (taken from this page)

“Jim was a Llewellyn setter born of pureblood champion field stock in Louisiana. Though his litter mates were selling for $25 each, a goodly sum in 1925, he was considered the most unlikely of the litter and came into Sam VanArsdale’s hands for less than half that amount. Attempts to train Jim for the field seemed futile as he lay in the shade watching while the trainer worked with the three other dogs. However, when taken to the field that fall for the first time, he immediately went to a covey of quail, came up on perfect point, held steady until the quail was shot, and immediately brought the bird to Mr. VanArsdale on the order to “fetch”. He proved to be a marvelous hunting dog, knowing where there were quail, and refusing to hunt where there were none. His master, an avid hunter who traveled from state to state hunting, kept track of birds shot over his beloved dog. He stopped counting at 5,000, a total no other dog ever reached. Outdoor Life Magazine termed him “The Hunting Dog of the Country”.

However, Jim was much more than just a champion hunting dog since Mr. VanArsdale found, quite by accident while in the field one day, that his dog could understand what he was saying to him and carried out his commands. It was a hot day, and Mr. VanArsdale said, “Let’s go over and rest a bit under that Hickory tree”. Although in a woods of numerous kinds of trees, he went to the Hickory. Surprised by this, he asked Jim to go to a Walnut, then a Cedar, a stump, and a tin can, which he did rapidly and perfectly.

This was the start of the amazing things the dog did on command. When told to do so, he could go out on the street and locate a car by make, color, out-of-state, or a license number. From a crowd he could select the “man who sells hardware”, and the one who “takes care of sick people”, or the “visitor from Kansas City”.

He carried out instructions given to him in any foreign language, shorthand, or Morse Code. He was capable of predicting the outcome of future events. He chose the winner of seven Kentucky Derbies, The World Series of baseball and the sex of unborn babies.

Mr. VanArsdale arranged for a demonstration at the University of Missouri with Dr. Durant, head veterinarian. He could find nothing physically abnormal from any other dog. He was tested by a group of college students and passed each command with flying colors.

In 1935 Jim performed at the Kemmerer Hotel in Kemmerer, Wyoming. After his successful perfomance, an article was written in the Gazette of Kemmerer on Friday, August 30, 1935, telling of this performance and referring to Jim as “The Wonder Dog”.

Jim also performed before the Missouri Legislature and at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia. Newspaper and magazine writers came to witness Jim and were stunned. They wrote of incredulous things they saw and Jim’s fame spread across the United States and elsewhere. He was featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

He is buried in Marshall’s Ridge Park Cemetery with a grave stone and is probably the only animal in a people cemetery. Caretakers say his is the most visited grave there and is seldom without flowers and coins left on it. The site of the Jim The Wonder Dog Garden off the northwest corner of the Square is the place once occupied by the Ruff Hotel where Jim lived with his owner Sam VanArsdale, the hotel manager. This is Marshall’s way of commemorating one of it’s most famous “citizens”.”


Oct 6, 2012 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

Alight, while I work on getting my Missouri photos uploaded & beautified I might as well update you again.

So, Wednesday was my first time helping set up an event that RAW artists were taking part in.  It was quite an experience.  Now I know that you just can’t rely on what people tell you.  When we got to the venue to set up, things were different than we had been told…. not a pleasant surprise.  But we made do and it turned out pretty good despite some set-backs.  It was a lot of fun, too.  The venue was awesome!

In other news, I went to physical therapy for the first time today to help with the headaches I was getting after skating (so long ago now!).  Turns out I have scoliosis.  No one had ever mentioned it to me before.  What good were all those school scoliosis detections?  What about all the doctors and nurses who’ve looked at my back as they listened to my breathing/heart?

I’ve known, for at least 6 years, that my spine is a bit wonky and my shoulders aren’t even…but didn’t know that was scoliosis.  It seemed to me my physical therapist had that figured out just by looking.  So that’s exciting.  Now I have to find a specialist in order to ascertain how bad it is and what to do about it.  It makes sense though- all the tension in my back & neck & shoulders is no doubt from my spine being crooked.  Oh, did I mention, I now know that my left leg is 2 centimeters shorter than my right.  That’s almost an inch.  Not good either.  No wonder my body has been giving me headaches- saying what are you doing to me??

…Anyway…I just needed to get that off my chest.  I promise a happier/more interesting post next time (and my pictures are coming!).


Oct 2, 2012 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

Missouri- Show Me State

Like I said in my last post, this past week I’ve been in Missouri to visit my grandma and for a family reunion.  I’ve been going to Missouri annually for as long as I can remember.  Although, mostly we would go over spring break when I was in school.  This was one of the first times that I’ve been when it hasn’t been spring.  Boy, was I allergic to something!  Probably all the harvest pollen.  You see in the spring MO is usually pretty chilly and sometimes snowy, so there is no pesky pollen to irritate the nose & eyes.  This time I didn’t have such luck in that department and stayed a bit watery eyed and sneezey.

It was a great trip!  Not only for the obvious benefit of seeing a greater variety of family than ordinarily, but also for the natural wildlife.   Every night my mom and I would go on a short walk to stretch out legs and get some fresh air.  Without fail we encountered some form of wildlife.  Notably not very exciting for most people, but besides the seagulls and occasional squirrel or rabbit I don’t get much for wildlife in SD.  One evening we even saw a little scruffy grey kitten.  She was real cute- and had a great big bushy tail like a raccoon…but she had better less scary things to do than talk to humans.

As I mentioned in my last post, as well, my mom and I went to the Van Meter State Park.  It was awesome!!  It was about a 2 hour drive to get there from where my grandma lives, but well worth it.  Sadly, it was pretty deserted- just us and the lone park employee.  He, however, was very knowledgeable and super enthusiastic.  He showed us a short film documenting the park’s history (from the Missouri Native Americans who lived there to the park’s name sake- the Van Meter’s) and pulled out numerous pelts including one of a black bear and a bison!  It was his show & tell time.

Van Meter State Park preserves the remnants of a Missouri Indian early village site- complete with ceremonial mounds.  Granted mounds aren’t that exciting, as it is literally just a mound in the grass, but it’s the thought of what could be under that mound of earth and of the people who made it that is the thrilling part.

There is a wonderful visitor’s center that functions as a sort of museum dedicated to educating visitors about the Missouri Native Americans.  Sadly, not much is known about them.  They didn’t last too long after white Europeans began settling.  They died very quickly from smallpox and other diseases.  After that their numbers dwindled so rapidly that they were gone within the 1800′s.  It was sobering to learn that no one bothered to find out what their native name for their tribe was.  Missouri came from what the French explorers, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark (aka Lewis & Clark) termed them- “Oumessourit” (wee-missouri).  Europeans refered to them as such and named the state and river after them…little realizing that that was not their true name.  The visitor’s center revealed that little to next to nothing is known about their culture or society- merely how they survived and the objects they created (rope, blades, baskets, etc).

My background is in California and Alaskan Native Americans so it was great to see how the “other half lived”, as it were.  Not surprisingly, most California and Alaskan Native Americans inhabited very tough climes and so had little resources to live off of.  This made them very friendly and willing to share with just about anyone.  In stark contrast, the Missouri Native Americans lived in an extremely resource rich area.  Having more than enough resources to sustain their territory of 300 acres and 200+ individuals, they still had some left over to create weapons and actively defend their territory.

Anyway, enough of that.  I don’t want to bore anyone.  Oh!  But while in Van Meter I came across some curious plants that my mom and I couldn’t place.  We brought them to the family reunion to see if anyone knew.  Do you know what these are?

We’ve figured out the black bean/leafy thing is a Black Locust (the plant not the bug!); the small acron-shaped thing is a Hickory Nut, and no one knew that the green thing was (as you can see we cut it open).  Everyone agreed it looked like a walnut.  Problem is it doesn’t smell like one.  Maybe it’s a paw-paw….but no one knew what those looked like….

Well, I’m back in sunny SD again where it is summer once more. I will be posting photos of Van Meter in the Picture Gallery within the week.  Keep your eyes peeled & keep checking back!

Happy Travels!


Sep 28, 2012 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

Custard Pie

So this week I am in Missouri visiting my grandma. Today she taught me how to make custard pie. It’s surprisingly simple for such a yummy dessert. Here’s how we made it:

Preheat oven to 425. Whisk together 3 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, a dash of vanilla & nutmeg. Scald 2 cups of milk (we used 1 cup skim & 1 cup half and half). Quickly whisk the milk in with the rest. Pour into a pie crust. Sprinkle nutmeg on top to make it pretty. Bake for 10 min. Then lower the heat to 325 and bake for another 25 min. Let it cool & it’s all done!

As you may be able to tell, I had some trouble making the crust pretty.  I gave up and used a fork.  Oh, also be very careful getting it into the oven!  It is SUPER soupy before it sets!

What have you learned from your grandparents?

Tomorrow we are making apple pie, as well.  And then my  mom and I are going to Van Meter park to check out their native American burial remains.  Should be interesting since I don’t know much about non-California/Alaskan native Americans.


Sep 22, 2012 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

Party Color

Super brief update today:

I got my hair done today- finally!  And it looks just like I wanted it to!  I’ve been wanting to add a bright color to my blonde for a while now.  I think it turned out pretty good, too.  I’m sure there will be more pictures coming as I continue experimenting with vintage hairstyles.  There are some chunks of pink in the back that, obviously, you can’t see from this angle.  I’m very happy with the lightness of the blonde; I was wanting it to have more of a platinum feeling.


Sep 20, 2012 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

We Dig the Underground

Alright, so with my newly busy schedule (as mentioned in my previous blog) you can now expect posts once to twice a week- towards the later half.

I have 2 things I’d like to cover with this post: 1) My internship and 2) more TVs shows I’ve stumbled upon.  I don’t mean to plug for them; but I find these quite interesting and want to share with all of you in the hopes it will interest & entertain you, too!

RAWartists:  I know I talked about it briefly before in some previous post but here is more.  RAW:natural born artists is an independent arts organization, for artists, by artists.  It works as a sort of community that is made up of creative individuals across the nation to provide an artistic network, so to say.  Our mission is to provide independent artists within the first 10 years of their career with the tools, resources, and exposure needed to inspire and sustain creativity.  RAW promotes all sort of genres of art including independent film, fashion, music, visual art, performing art, hairstylists, makeup artists, etc. I’ve been working with the SD production director on their facebook site. Check it out and tell me what you think!

RAW was founded in 2009 by Heidi Luerra.  It currently operates in 54 cities across the United States & Australia!  Her goal was to give unnoticed artistic talent a place to showcase their work and to network with other artists.  Check out the documentary featuring the rise of RAW nationwide: watch HERE!  It is roughly 45 minutes, but if you have the free time to sit down and watch it, it is most definitely worthwhile. I am SO excited to be a part of RAWartists and help local SD talent (and build up my own talent in doing so). Did you know RAW discovered the Flobots before their rise to fame?? It is legit!

Now then, on to TV. I recently have discovered two pretty neat shows: Family Guns and Revolution. Family Guns is a National Geographic show following a father & son business. They own a warehouse chain called International Military Antiques. Essentially it is a sort of reality show that documents their trials and tribulations getting and selling antiques guns. How exciting? No but really. They make it a lot of fun to watch. Everyone has electric personalities that are well-suited for TV. The father loves to collect a certain variety of old pistol. He is constantly spending lots of business money on them and then keeps them locked up in his personal safe. This of course infuriates the son who is trying to make a profit with the business and keep the checkbook closed, so to say. Anyway, I recommend it. It is entertaining even if you aren’t particularly interested in guns- although it sure helps if you are! (I don’t know much about them yet, but I am learning as one day I will inherit my dad’s rather large collection)

Revolution is a SciFi show that begins with all the power going off. Sound confusing? It is. For some unknown reason all electricity, water, and gas powered things just stop. Hardly any modern technologies work. It is set 15 years after “the lights went out”. We learn of the Monroe militia and some serious sh** goes down in the pilot episode. Very interesting. I do have to admit that the main character, Charlie is incredibly reminiscent of Katniss with her tough girl attitude and bow. I’m not sure if I’m ready for more Hunger Games type characters so soon….but we will see. It will definitely be worthwhile to see what happens. That is so long as SciFi doesn’t screw up and end up cancelling it after 5 episodes like they have with some many.

Happy Viewing!


Sep 17, 2012 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

Derby Days

Yesterday was rather exciting. A friend invited me to go on a scavenger hunt in Old Town…although it didn’t take us nearly as long as we’d expected. It was, however, unmentionable hot hovering somewhere around 100 degrees.

After that we went to a San Diego Derby Dolls bout. Always a good time. The Hard Corps were playing the Kansas City Banked Beauties, a relatively new team in the banked track world. I haven’t seen a banked track bout in, literally, years. So it was super interesting to watch one again. I will hand it to the KC Banked Beauties, they sure got moxy. Despite having earned themselves a mere 12 points at halftime against the Hard Corps’ 101 !! they made a major comeback in the last two quarters and gained close to 80 points!

That being said, the second half was definitely more exciting than the first half, where the derby dolls just steamrolled the KC beauties. The score was so uneven that I started routing for the away team. I just wanted to see them get some points! Being a spectator, and knowing the inner workings of derby, it was easy to spot KC’s flaws. Their blockers were too busy focusing on keeping the opposing jammer back; to the point where their own jammer spent the whole 2 minutes struggling at the back of the pack behind the SD blockers. There is certainly something to be said for stopping the opposing jammer- but in this case they would have had more luck working on getting their jammer through the pack.

They also seemed to be a hair tentative. A few times the KC jammer would get out first, to be followed closely by a derby doll jammer, and would start to teeter uncertainly trying to keep the lead. It must have been discouraging to see that despite their best efforts they were at least 100 points down. But major props to them for sticking it out and giving it there all. It really showed in the second half when they started throwing harder hits and getting more power jams.

As usual, a wonderful time spent in good company.

One day, one day, I, too will play.


Sep 15, 2012 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

Lucid Dreams

It has been a while since I’ve posted.  This week I started my internship with RAW.  Now I am busy from 9am to 9pm on Tues & Thurs- with 2 half hour breaks and 1 hour break in between.  Those days now involve 80+ miles of driving (downtown, to San Marcos, to O’side, & back home again).  Makes for a busy day and not much spare time for blogging.  I’m excited to be a part of the organization though.  I think it will be a great experience and *hopefully* I will learn a lot! 

…again total mind blank on what I was going to say….I could tell you all about what I’m learning in my German class but I doubt many of you want to read about German grammar in any length.  I suppose I will tell you more about dreams and thereby indulge my personal fascination….

It was only about a year ago that I realized I often have lucid dreams. Lucid dreams are technically any dream in which the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming. For me what this boils down to is that I can change things in my dreams. For example, I had a dream a while back where I was being chased through a mall. I kept running into the people who were after me; being lucid of the fact I was able to direct myself down a different path so we wouldn’t run into each other.

I know a significant amount of people want to lucid dream but find it very difficult.  I’ve no idea when I was able to do it- since I thought everyone dreamed like that.  Ever since I was little, I would fall asleep by thinking about things.  I mean to say, I would lull myself into sleep by daydreaming/fantasizing…whatever you want to call it about a certain object or event or person.  I guess that by focusing all my mental energy onto one thing it led my subconscious into a lucid dreaming state.

Have you ever had a lucid dream?  How did you get there?  If you didn’t get there, what did you try?

Also, for whatever reason my dreams are mostly in 3rd person. I watch myself do things in my dreams. (so I’m not seeing things happen from “my own eyes” but as if it were being filmed) I still feel like I’m experiencing everything that happens….if that makes any sense.  And my dreams are always fairly realistic. I had a friend who said she that when she dreamed the environment would be crazy colors or certain things would be weird proportions. Not so with me. Things seem just like everyday- no artistic bent.

When you dream, is it in 1st person or 3rd?  Is the subject matter life-like or surreal?