October 17, 2011

Homework on the Beach

It's been very warm (over 70 which is rare for Monterey) this week. Ben and I took advantage of the temperatures by sitting out on the beach a couple days ago. I sat and read/listened to my kindle (homework/readings) (I love my kindle) while Ben went for a walk. The seagulls became bold and inched closer and closer to me. I got a bit sunburned--something I don't usually worry about when it's cool and foggy!

World Seafood Congress in DC

Clouds from the air

I flew to DC again for a week, to go to the World Seafood Congress. It was the perfect conference for me to go to: sessions on aquaculture, sustainability and certifications standards, and challenges in fisheries and aquaculture in South America, Africa, and Asia. The biggest thing I gained was more of an industry point of view, and of course, the opportunity I had to meet several people in the field.
I definitely didn't get the memo that everyone would be wearing black blazers. Oh well, easily excused by introducing myself as a student. Still, it was strange. I'm used to being one of the best dressed people at scrubby-scientist meetings or polo/khaki-wearing-vet conferences. I was dressed up, but not corporate business attired enough, despite my high heels.
Super nice: they provided us with cough drops, pad of paper and a pen, and water at each session.Gorgeous deco wave railings in the hotel

I met the new CEO of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, and shared with him the work I did at WWF this summer on the ASC certification standards. He was grateful for my work, yay! I got to use my Spanish, speaking with a lady in the fisheries dept of Uruguay, and I got to use my Swahili, (finally, after 10 yrs of trying to keep it up with no one to speak to) with a vet from the Fisheries Dept of Tanzania. Very cool. One academician whose papers I have been reading all year came up to me and said he recognized my name, and that he used to work at Seafood Watch too. Such a small world. I couldn't believe someone came up to me, as a student!

Panel discussion
I was so happy to be back in DC. I stayed with Na'la, one of my dance friends for one night, and I stayed with Althea, one of the ladies I met at WWF for the rest of my time there. I saw other friends/coworkers at WWF one afternoon, catching up, re-connecting. As I left DC, I could see the soccer field behind the WWF building, and was able to pick out the WWF building; I could see the bridge I rode my bike over every day this summer, I saw the cathedral where I took a couple strolls, and the neighborhood where I lived, and teared up. I didn't want to leave all over again.
Appalachia from the air.
Still, coming home to Monterey is a pretty rad option. I feel so blessed to have 2 places I really love. And now, on to applying to jobs in both locations...I wonder where I'll end up. I think it really has me stressed out actually. This is big stuff! Last time I was a year away from graduating from a graduate degree, that's when the sh*t hit the fan...so my body is certainly reacting stressfully to that expectation despite the fact that I'm doing really well in school and am excited about what my future holds. *Sigh* How do bodies internalize so much scar-emotion??

Point Lobos

One day, I had tons of reading, but I opted to walk around Point Lobos with Ben instead. It's so beautiful there!
How do these top-heavy seaweeds stay standing up, getting bashed by water all day long!? Amazing.

Mussel bed

4 Deer, walking toward us!
Whalers cove, where we went snorkeling last weekend

This is actually not at Point Lobos, but up the hill from my house. curlyque tree!

which side?

Does it matter which side I sweep my hair to? Which do you prefer? Picture 1 (with Cappy in the background?) or Picture 2?
[pic 2 is my normal method]

October 12, 2011

Sustainable Seafood Man

My coworker just sent me a link to Beatrice the Biologist's blog where she did a comic strip (sort of...what would you call it?) on Seafood Watch. Nice. Beware SSM. (click link to her blog to see).

Tanzanian names

The internet is awesome. I just chatted with Goodluck (AKA Salt), a guy I knew in Tanzania 10 yrs ago on facebook. I can't believe I still remember Swahili at all. Just goes to show it's such an easy language! Side-tracked, I looked at some of his friends' names, and I was reminiscing about all the awesome English words that make their way into Tanzanian Name Lexicon. Here are some winners:

October 7, 2011

Tiny Home Obsession

A couple weeks ago, I went through a re-invigorated obsession with tiny homes. I have always loved the idea of living in a tiny home since before we lived on Feather (10 ft wide at it's widest by 38 ft long).

When I was 18, I lived in an RV for a few months with my boyfriend at the time. Amazingly, it was a step up from most of the living accommodations of most of my friends, since we were all full-time climbers, and they were all camping in tents while Erick and I were cozy and shielded from the winds of Nevada's winter. We'd have 'dinner parties' for like 8 people in the Chinook.
Then, after my house burned down and I had the opportunity to gather only what I needed, I felt like a free vagabond for a short bit. It's amazing how fast the stuff builds up again, but I try to purge on a fairly regular basis, selling stuff on ebay or giving it away on craigslist. Still, there's plenty I could do without, I'm sure.

The urge to look into tiny home living was in full force again after I saw this video on an apartment in Japan that is sort of like a transformer:
Then a couple days after that, I saw pictures of these awesome "Idaho sheep wagons". You can buy one for just over $8000, definitely the cheapest tiny home I've seen yet. But it has a canvas roof, which is not the most durable separation between you and the elements.

I have a whole board dedicated on Pinterest to places I wouldn't mind living, or architecture that strikes my fancy, and probably the most common thread is small spaces. Here are some of my favorites from over there.
"The greatest innovation anywhere for space is boats. Even more than spaceships and submarines."

Airstream Trailer Renovation by Hofmann Architecture

Swedish designer Torsten Ottesjö's Hus.Ett

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

This latter one I first saw on treehugger.com, but it's where I first started my obsession a couple weeks ago, delving through all the plans of their tiny homes, and watching videos of people showing me around their Tumbleweeds. What I like about them is that they are very liveable, and many of them are built on a trailer bed, so you can park your home wherever someone is kind enough to let you park. And it's much less wasteful (to build) than a similarly moveable (in theory, anyway) mobile home. Those

I really like this video, of a family of 3 who lives in a 320sq foot home, because you really get a sense for how it is to live with them. They don't concentrate on the square footage, but on what they really felt they needed. Thus, they have a full size washer and dryer, as well as a full size refrigerator whereas most tiny home livers chose not to have either, or else only a small dorm-sized refrigerator. I also like that they have a cat.

Similarly, this guy insists, it's not about minimum space, but having the minimum that works for you. He really wanted to have a full sized couch in his place, so it's a bit larger than some of the Tumbleweeds. I like how conversational and philosophical he is about the sort of living you undertake when you make a decision to live this way:

I like how bright and open this one is

I like how big the windows are here, I bet if feels much larger inside than it looks from the outside. I'm not sold on this exact design, but I do like how it doesn't look just like all the others. I mean, if I'm going to build my own house, thinking about design is interesting to me too, not just function.

This one appeals to me some

In all, I gorged on these sorts of images and videos. And then looked around and decided I live in a pretty small apartment already, even though it's not portable or tiny, and I like the open space that I have in the front room. I think I would like putting the bed in a loft and thereby not having to use as much space. But otherwise things are pretty good as they are. I think there's a ton of clothes and craft stuff that I could purge, but right now living in a tiny home is a dream. And I'm working on one dream at a time. Currently, finishing school. There's time for this tiny home dream later.

Monterey is a Beautiful Place to Live

These are shots taken on my walks in the morning to work, just 7 blocks from my house.

These were taken one morning after it had rained, on a walk I took before my weekend workshop class.

You can't tell, here, but that's a wild bee hive I found in that tree!