November 29, 2010


So sweet. Sleeping together, stretching, bath time.

Tea Drawer

My dream come true. Two full drawers of delicious teas. Instead of an alcohol bar, I cultivate a tea habit.

November 28, 2010

Verdant Packaging

I get so excited every time I get an email alerting me to the fact that someone has purchased one of my pendants from Etsy. Up I get, gathering my materials to send the package on its way to its new home. The name of my pendant shop is Verdance. To me, this is a double entendre, alluding to both my love of dance, and my passion for environmental care (verdant=green, leafy, lush. In my head=healthy, ecologically sound). So of course, the packaging I use to send the pendants in must be as environmentally friendly as possible. There are so many cute ways to package things, but I pride myself on not purchasing more stuff just for packaging. In fact, packaging was my main disgust factor when I worked in retail. I couldn't stand how much packaging each item took! So, I re-use little ziplock bags from Worlds Apart (where I was working in retail...I stockpiled those ziplocks with each shipment of jewelry that came in), then pack them with some business cards (and a thank you!) in a home-made pouch. The pouches are made from old cereal box-type cardboard.

Anything that comes into my house of that thickness gets torn open/flat, the edges snipped off (and recycled), folded and sewn into a little pouch. Sewing the edges means that I don't have to use plastic tape.
Sometimes if I'm in a hurry, I'll staple the edges instead of sewing, but I've been warned by our post man to be careful with that since these packages are delivered by hand and we don't want to injure our mail carriers! As a philatelic nerd, I prefer to use real stamps instead of the post-office print-outs.
A few doodles make it a tad more special.

The cats, of course, always offer their input.

November 26, 2010

In search of the Perfect Boots

I must vent. I have been in search of the perfect boots since my house burned down. That was almost FOUR YEARS AGO. I have very wide feet, with high arches and most women's shoes do not fit me. Boots are especially difficult because the wide versions tend to have wide calves, which I do not need. Boots tend to be seasonal so my search is not effective year-round. This further decreases the liklihood of finding the perfect boots.

Last year I found my dream boots. Keen's Bern boots: waterproof, brown, flat(ish)--they work for both function and fashion. Of course they don't come in wide sizes.

A similar shoe by Merrell, also does not come in wide sizes.
And as I search the internet right now, I see Teva even makes a great option. Again, not in wide.

I was excited recently when one of my friends, who has similar-shaped feet, turned me on to Aerosoles, who make wide size shoes. Some of their regular sized shoes are even wide enough to accommodate my feet! I was doubly excited today because Ben and I went to the Aerosoles store in Berkeley to try on the 2 boots on the ends below, to see if these regular-sized boots would actually fit my wide feet. To my utter chagrin, they did not. The boots in the middle did fit my feet, but are not quite what I'm looking for (too ridingbootish, not waterproof).
So close and yet so far away. I used to get shoes that were "pretty good" when I couldn't find "perfect". But after battling Morton's neuroma for wearing too-narrow shoes for my whole life, I have vowed never to get "pretty good" shoes again. Currently, I have a recently-sprained ankle, for which I'm wearing an ankle brace which adds to the urgency of finding flat, comfortable, reasonable, functional shoes. A search online lead me to these, which are too tall in the heel, but at least are advertised as wide. Of course when I plug in my size and width, whadya know, "This combination is not available".
These are perhaps a bit more ornate than I'd like but close. Still, not wide.

All in all, I remain very frustrated. I own 4 pairs of shoes that fit me. (I have others, but they're not sufficiently wide enough for every-day use. I can only use them here and there, interspersed between normal wide-shoe wearings so that the neuroma doesn't flair up again.)
1. New Balance. Yay. Their shoes are always wide enough. But they have no boots.
2. Tevas. These. But my pinky toes hang off the edge and the velcro strap only closes half-way across my foot, thus Teva's closed shoes are too small for my feet.
3. These Danskos. Can't wear them now because of my ankle brace (heel).
4. Aerosoles, very cute but high heeled. Also not practical for current use.
Which effectively means I have 2 pairs of shoes. Tevas and running shoes. Not practical for cold, rainy days in Monterey. I need some friggin' boots! arrrrgggg...

If you have any other suggestions lemme know.

I have asked this question before, and have been sent in the direction of finding shoes for drag-queens. Great idea in theory! But I have no need for go-go boot, platforms, or stripper heels.

November 21, 2010


As the days get shorter, I think more and more about light.
I like these three candelabras.

Black Mass, Casino de Paris 1927. Via

Valetina by Alfred Eisenstaedt 1944. Via.

Greta Garbo in Anna Karenina, 1935. Via.

November 19, 2010

Species Size

Dogs have the greatest variances of size within a species. I always think of this picture when I remember that little fact. I never thought I'd see a picture of humans to rival it.
Sultan Kosen (8'1") and He Pingping (2'5"). Tallest and shortest men able to walk, 2009. He died March 2010.
However, dogs still win because the Great Dane and Chihuahua above are healthy breeds whereas both gentlemen have growth hormone abnormalities (gigantism/dwarfism) to explain their respective enormous and diminutive proportions. Still, it's a cool comparison.

November 11, 2010

Dad's visit

Dad came 2 weeks ago (already that long ago?!) and we had a great time with him. On his first day, we spent the day in Gilroy: lunch at Pericos, some pastries, dinner at Lizarran, and some bowling on top. The next day, Dad and I had the most filling breakfast at OD's cafe, and then we jaunted down to Point Lobos where we had an amazing hike. We saw sea lions, seals, dolphins, birds, kayakers, scuba divers, neat trees...and I sprained my ankle.

There is a Butterfly Preserve in little Pacific Grove~ a spot of magic! Monday, Ben and Dad explored the Monterey Bay Aquarium while I took a midterm exam, then we all went to Big Sur and enjoyed Route 1's incredible scenic beauty. I was sad to see him go!

November 10, 2010


I made the earrings in this picture. (Picture of me as a Rock Creature from Elevation 2010, Golden Colorado)

Which is probably why I like the earrings in this picture. They're similar, yes? I think my taste is consistent.


I feel as though I've hit the jackpot. I can't believe I'm in a school where my homework for the evening includes doing something I have done in my 'spare' time in the past. Namely: researching ways to travel abroad in a meaningful way on someone else's dime. Specifically, Tanzania. To improve my Swahili. And study environmental effects of aquaculture. With a job at the end! It sounds like a dream come true (the homework aspect...not to mention if I actually were able to secure a fellowship)! My Research Methods for Environmental Policy class requires us all to write an application to one of several Grants/Fellowships available. I am considering applying to the Boren Fellowship. It seems like it was made for me.) I spent several hours this evening feeling guilty for doing my homework because it was so exciting! I'm not used to work feeling so much like fun. Happy. Very very happy.

November 8, 2010

Carts and Kids

Oh, wow. This is an incredible homage to carts of yore. Kids being pulled by goats, small horses, dogs....and a lion, some turkeys, a pig, a crocodile, and more. I am amazed. You must visit.

November 7, 2010

Layers...and denial

Laila Shawal

I've been up since 9:30. I decided to write down what I get done, by the hour--so I can see my progress or lack thereof, and document where my time goes. I think what I've been doing is called "procrastination" though I am firmly in denial of this.

9:30-10: breakfast, start an email to NEAFC (aka homework), look at images for pendants
10-11: water plants, start dishwasher, make eggs for Ben and myself, send some emails to family
11-12: give sardines to cats (clean out refridgerator), make tea, check the mail, give some feedback on etsy
12-1: look at Ben's progress on his ViddyJam project, exercise the cats (play with them), photoshop a few images, look at facebook.

By sharing this, I am ratting myself out, hoping to actually finish that email to the NEAFC and kick myself in the booty to get lots more schoolwork done today too. Luckily, I feel good about the things that I have done today despite them not being directly school related. But perhaps that furthers my denial. Eh, well, it is the weekend.