October 24, 2010

Palm and the Move

Our mini palm trees did not like moving cross country. The first day nearly killed them (smooshed in a sweltering 100+ degree car in July from KY to CO with no water). The rest of the trip was not much better (little light, little water in the back of the moving van). The last week was spent in a basement with no light, no water. Then we moved in--every leaf on the poor things were frazzled, yellowed, dead or dying. We put it outside, where I thought it would be happier than inside, but Gilroy has been hot and dry since we moved in. We finally decided to stop torturing our plants and moved it indoors this week. But even out on the balcony I have been encouraging them to come back to life with plant stew (water and fertilizer). And you can see that previous 3 tall and 2 short palms that seemed to have died had enough life in them still to double their numbers. From 5, we now have 10 (albeit tiny) palm sprouts!

October 22, 2010

Three Vessels

Mmmmmmm. Nautilus, curves, embellishments...

October 21, 2010

Rich Texture

I've had this link on my computer desktop for almost a year. Time to share. I think I just like the textures in these pictures. I tend toward collecting this way, but I really like having a more spare home--it helps diminish anxiety when I have space around me. Plus it makes moving easier. So having pictures to look at is a safe way for me to enjoy this fray. Maybe Ben would say I still do collect like this....

October 19, 2010

Too Dark for Pendants

See how it does that? At least this particular pendant has a rad home now--thanks Alice!

Well, after several attempts, I've just concluded that images with lots of dark in them are not the best for pendants because the black ink sometimes sticks to the glass and makes it look like the image is wet under the glass. Dang. Because there are some really beautiful images that pendant-wearers will miss out on! Here are some of the images that you won't see in my next batch of pendants because they're just too daggone dark.

Well, I might give this one a go afterall. Photo by Robert Orgera

Fireflies, Ontario. Steve Irvine. This one I couldn't use anyway since it's copyrighted.

Los Pericos

This is the ad Allie Brosh would make for taquerias if they asked her. It's over the top because little taquerias have to compete with the likes of TacoBell. And because she is the artist of Hyperbole and a Half. Good news is, it pretty much is true for Los Pericos.
Los Pericos is the taqueria just around the corner from where we live. (It's one of about ten, actually). Ben and I visit a couple times a week. The food there is cheap and delicious...we can get a meal for 2 for under 8 bucks!

When you order tacos, they give you 2 tortillas for each taco--perfect for collecting the filling that falls out of the original!

October 10, 2010

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

I'm writing a paper for my Spanish class about a kick-ass aquaculture farm called Veta la Palma. If you follow TED lectures, you may have heard about it here (or check it out now! It's one of my favorite TED lectures). Anyway, it's right next to DoƱana Biosphere Reserve, which is on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)'s World Heritage Site list. And, as one thing leads to another, I found myself thinking that this is probably a really really awesome "bucket list" (you know, the list of places you want to go before you die). Curious, I looked at the list of World Heritage Sites to see which ones I had already visited. There are currently 911 on the list, and I have been to 41 of them:

Chartres Cathedral
Palace and Park of Versailles
Paris, Banks of the Seine

Tikal National Park

Historic Center of Rome
Historic Center of Florence
Venice and its Lagoon
Historic Center of Naples
Archaelogic Area of Agrigento
Late Baroque towns of the Val di Noto
Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica
Archaelogica Areas of Pompei, Heculaneum, and Torre Annunziata

Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto
Hiroshima Peace Memorial
Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara

Le Morne Cultural Landscape

Historic Center of Oaxaca
Prehistoric City and National Park of Palenque

BOSAWAS Biosphere Reserve (okay, I cheated a little here...BOSAWAS, where I was, is adjacent to Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve in Honduras and is not actually a UNESCO site itself)

Works of Antoni Gaudi

Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch
Rhaetian Railway and Bernina Landscapes

Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Serengeti National Park
Kilimanjaro National Park
Stone Town of Zanzibar

United Kingdom
Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites
City of Bath
Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey and St. Margaret's Church
Tower of London
Old and New Towns of Edinburgh
Cornwall and West Devon Mining

United States
Yellowstone National Park
Mammoth Cave National Park (Kentucky represent!!)
Great Smokey Mountains National Park
Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville

First of all, I feel exceedingly lucky and grateful to have visited even 5% of UNESCO's list. Thanks to the Bingham Seminar/Scholarships in college, I was able to visit Sicily and Japan with the great fore-knowledge of an entire semester's class with Professors Chris Havice (Food, Architecture and Folkways of Sicily) & Doug Slaymaker (Japanese Literature, and the Cities of Japan). Thanks, too, to the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation grant that sent me to study in Nicaragua (Prevalence of Tuberculosis and Brucellosis in Dairy Cattle of BOSAWAS Biosphere Reserve) during my time in veterinary school. And thank you to my parents who allowed me to travel to Scotland when I was 16, and then travelled with my sister and I in Europe when I graduated from high school.
Not surprisingly, some of the most memorable (favorite) places I've ever been to are heavily seeding this list. Definitely, these include: everything in Tanzania, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial (one of the most profound days of my life), Venice, Paris, Tikal Guatemala, and the standing stones of Stenness in Orkney, Scotland. I also have good stories to tell about some of them, like sleeping on a park bench in Bath because all the hotels and hostels were full; like bouldering on some of the ancient toppled columns in Agrigento (that's probably not allowed. doh.); or picking wildflowers in the Swiss Alps. I hope to return to many, I hope to explore more, and I am glad that these places are protected.

What UNESCO sites have you visited? What stories do you have associated with them? Which ones would you like to visit?

October 9, 2010

The Commute

People often ask me "How's the commute?" because I drive to and from school. Gilroy to Monterey. Only 46 miles, but usually about an hour's drive. It's a lovely drive, and that's what I'll share with you. I use GhostReader (and now my new Kindle!) to have some of my school readings read to me while I drive, so that feels productive. I stay in Monterey with classmates/friends (thanks you guys!!) once a week and that really helps me maintain a rhythm throughout the week.

Gilroy and the golden hills:

Down into the valleys where eucalyptus (though it's a foreign & invasive species) smells amazing:

The agricultural portion of my drive. It's really interesting watching the planting, growing, harvesting efforts in real time, over the course of several months. This is where your food comes from, everyone!

artichoke fields in Castroville

Yes, "Del Monte" as in the fruit.

Seaside's sand dunes, and Ah, the ocean! Monterey Bay has a peaceful effect on me every day. I love seeing the water from land, it's so different every day.
heavy machinery move drifting sands back to the beach area and off the highway regularly.

This sand dune has a different message on it every morning.
It's like a huge etch-a-sketch for love notes.

Here we are in Monterey and at MIIS (my school).