July 27, 2012

What I did on my Summer Vacation

See, the name of this post is funny because I'm done with school, so it's not really a summer vacation.

Still, I went to house sit for my friend Mira up in Oakland for ~10 days and it felt like a vacation even though I brought some work for Seafood Watch with me.  What else did I do besides work, you ask? Well firstly, I saw Cyprus, Mira, Dakota, Pthalo, Joe, and Appleine in their packing frenzy, and sent them off to Sweets Mill. Then....
Mira & Dakota almost ready to leave for Sweets Mill!

1. Helped my buddy Superkate set up for the Amanda Palmer show at Public Works on Friday the 13th.

Reviews of the show here and here.  I'm honestly not a fan, though I can appreciate her point of view, and dedication to her art if not her 'talent'.  I had an amazing time though, because a) (first and foremost) I got to hang out with Superkate,  b) I enjoyed the opening acts, c) I enjoyed meeting and goofing off with the band members Chad, Michael & Jherick (sp?), d) great people-watching venue.

I also had a conversation with Neil Gaiman, Amanda's husband, about dancing.  There was a couple dancing the tango upstairs and he was watching them intently.  I thought, "he must either be a dancer or long to be one."  I asked him about it, and he assured me that he was a terrible dancer, but that he sort of wished that he was good at it.  Superkate invited me to dance on stage during the encore with the opening acts, and afterward, Neil--who'd been watching from upstairs--grabbed me into a hug with a wide grin and said, "Now you are a dancer.  Thank you for going up there and sharing, you are completely in your body.  You are alive inside your body.  Beautiful to watch. Wonderful."  So that was a lovely compliment.  I thanked him for living through his words, ha ha.

2.  My friend Safari (Stephanie) was in town from NH for a conservation biology convention, so I got to spend some quality time with her.  She's one of my few friends that appreciates the same things I do on almost every level:  travel, conservation, tribal bellydance, intelligent conversations.  She is super duper rad and I'm so happy to know her.  We met over 10 years ago on a study abroad program in Tanzania.  I'm Amana to her.
Amana na Safari
Hiking in the Berkeley hills
3. I played a lot with my new friend Dusty.  We enjoyed snacks, made costumes, and chit-chatted about life.  She's a professional bellydance costumer, and her life history could not be more different than my own.  And yet it lead her to where she is right now which is why I love her.  Sorry that's pretty vague, but I feel like her story is her own to tell.  She gots wisdom and a pure heart.  Plus she's fun and super creative.  Those are excellent qualities.  Yay for new friends!
I spent 6 hrs making these epaulettes.
Fabric shopping!

4.  Had brunch with BrieAnn.  I think we eat amazing breakfasts together.  This seems to be a trend.  I love this trend.  

5.  I worked on more than 30 new pendants.

6.  I went on errands to procure things that are difficult to find anywhere but a Large City.  Things that you can buy online, but they may not be perfect, and seeing them in person first is the key.  Things like special jumprings for my pendants, special polycarbonate material that I'm playing with for lighter-weight pendants, and special dye for polyester.  Also some plants.
Here's the process of my dyeing attempt. I'm pleased with the outcome.
Trying out 3 (of 4) colors. 
Top to bottom: brown, black+blue,  brown+blue, blue.  I went for brown+blue to get that greyish color.


Just a few dye spots.  Don't you love the scallops!?

Pieces of my costume coming together....
7. Hung out with Dorothy (from vet school) and her sister Marge (also a vet).  Good to hang out with some smart ladies who love kitties (they have 5 cats and a kitten at their place).  We balanced nerdy discussion with watching the Bachelorette finale together, complete with romantic potluck meal.

8.  Puttered around in Mira's house by myself with nothing else to do.  God, what a wonderful feeling.  I needed the break.  By the end, I missed Ben, the kitties, Monterey.  It was like pressing the reset button on so many aspects of my life.  I feel more confident and contented with my life there than I have in a while.  It's a wonderful life, how lucky of me to get to live it!  And how lucky to have the bay area and so many friends easily accessible!

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