Monday, July 7, 2014

Snapshots





























  • A Texas (aka alcoholic) Cherry Limeade at a beach bar after work
  • The happiest cemetery I've ever seen
  • Up close and personal nature
  • Exploring in my princess cape
  • Tiny flowers with big hearts
  • J.J. Abrams was here
  • My love for cacti knows no bounds
  • Someone worked hard on their home
  • Birdwatching is my crack
  • A Great Blue Heron flying overhead
  • One of my exploration buddies (he was cray)
  • My very first Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher I saw in Texas!
  • Argos playing in the water on an evening walk
  • A glimpse of Houston

I was productive tonight and actually did real things like laundry and uploaded 80% of my 2000 photos to my computer! So here are some snapshots of Texan life. I will attempt to post about my Houston road-trip I took two months ago to see Bruce Springsteen and go to the downtown aquarium at some point, as well as other photos I've taken from my wilderness wanderings around Corpus Christi!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

10 Things I Love

I love to write. Writing is a cathartic and natural process for me, which is why I started a blog in the first place. Unfortunately, I have not exactly been blogging, as of late. I really want to get back into the groove of it, and not only to write, but to also post my photographs. I have not taken many photographs with my DSLR in the past few months; another habit that I have grown out of. The good news is that I'm not blogging because there is an overabundance of things that I'm doing in my life, vs. not having anything to talk about. There's just so much to experience in South Texas, some good and some pretty trashy. But maybe that's just Texas.

Anyways, here's ten things that I'm loving in life right now!

1)



Orange is the New Black

BAHAHAHA this show is absolute GOLD. From every facet of my life I heard people discussing season 2 with such fervor that I decided I had to give it a chance. I love it. It's complicated, powerful, funny, and sad. Everything you could want from a TV show.

2)



Polaroid Cameras

I impulse bought an Instax mini polaroid camera the day I got a 98% on my physics test. My parents, who I lived with at the time, told me it was impulsive and silly and that film was expensive, etc. etc. WHATEVER, I DO WHAT I WANT. I love using it, though to be fair I hadn't used it in a while UNTIL I decided I was going to do a summer project with it. I am taking a polaroid every single day of the summer (June 1-August 31, in my mind) and posting it in my journal so I can remember the memories I have of my crazy life here. Beach bonfires, country dancing, free shots, pool days, Game of Thrones parties, bar crawls, and everything else life has to offer.

3)



Peach vodka and iced tea

Jess taught me this fantastic combination! Seriously, try it. It tastes even better when you combine the alcohol with a lemonade/iced-tea mixture. For best results, pour over ice in a tumblr and take to the pool or beach. You'll thank yourself for it.

4)





Little baby totems of some animals that I work with! Danielle's shop is a treasure trove of adorableness.

5)



Game of Thrones Sunday Fundays

I have been LOVING this season of Game of Thrones (though everyone trying to teach Khaleesi "lessons" like "it's okay, you're learning but through pain and death, yeah okay...). Every sunday, me, Elise, and Laura all get together for Sunday Funday and watch Game of Thrones, eat food, and generally wreak havoc. This past Sunday, we all gathered at our friend Kevin's house for macaroni and cheese pie, smashed red potatoes, and cinnamon braised peached with vanilla ice-cream. Also the finale was fucking INSANEEEEE!!! Happy Father's Day, indeed, Tywin Lannister MWAHAHAHAHA

6)



Piano Bars

(I use the word "bar" FAR TOO OFTEN in this paragraph because I didn't proof-read this before I posted it and I thought I had a concussion today so BEAR WITH IT YOU GUYS)

When I first started going to bars, I was truly uncomfortable. For some reason, I constantly felt like I was on display and that people were judging me for not knowing what to order at the bar. One of the only places I felt comfortable was a dueling piano bar we happened upon during my 21st birthday bar crawl. We sat down, a cocktail waitress took our drink orders (no standing awkwardly at a crowded bar), and cheered and sang to songs played by the two men competing against one another onstage. It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that bars are literally just another play to hang out, just with a full bar alcohol nearby and sometimes pool and darts. Now I'm as bar pro (if I do say so myself), and shove myself into the fray surrounding the bar, obnoxiously waving my card and demanding shots of tequila (just kidding, that only happened once). I still LOVE dueling piano bars though. Even though this particular instance was not "dueling pianos", but just a piano singalong, it was still super fun, and it had the same set-up as dueling piano bars. You write your request on a napkin complete with a "donation" (aka tip) and the highest donations win a song on the piano. We went to Brewster's Ice House, a cool bar with a giant open patio right on the train tracks. Unfortunately, I forgot my ID so I was outfitted with a minor's wristlet, complete with neon orange smiley-faces. I had to hide it conspicuously beneath the table every time I drank one of the beers someone else had to purchase for me (I have great friends). It was a great time complete with 80s rock ballads, purchasing the piano player a shot so he would play our song, and screaming, "YOU BITCH, YOU SLUT, YOU WHORE" (a piano bar favorite).

7)



A teeny tiny laptop for my birds!

Natal sent me (aka Manny and Maeby) a tiny apple laptop so my birds can browse tumblr with me! Bonding activities! She understands my love of birds pretending to do people things, so this gift is on par with my weird hobbies.

8)



The Last Halloween

I have recently got into reading web comics that have an actual storyline, vs. Toothpaste for Dinner. My stipulations are that a) they have to be interesting to me (obvi), b) they only started a little while ago so I have time to catch up before I get real-time updates, or c) they can be long, but they also must be over so I can just read the whole thing like a book (things that have been going on forever and are still CONTINUING TO BE A THING really intimidate me, for instance DOCTOR WHO, how does anybody even know what's going on anymore??). The moral of this story is that The Last Halloween is fantastic and I LOVE IT. Especially since it has the whole spooky/cute thing going on, which I'm really into. Which is why I adore bats. Check it out and also Abby Howard's other stuff, because she is dupes funny! DO IT.

9)



Beach bonfires

I just want to have beach bonfires ALL THE DAYS. I can't get enough of them. My favorite thus far involved crisp white-wine sangria, playing in the bioluminescence at midnight, and then attempting to get mozzarella sticks at 4 AM. That part didn't work very well...

10)



Memories of cool mountain nights, drinking out of aluminum, blue-speckled cups filled with powdered apple cider complete with a slight metallic tang, crowding around a small, crackling campfire popping with sparks. Basically just having a place to escape the heat in general, as everywhere here is swathed in a 103 degree heat index. I miss the mountains :( Though beach camping is an experience I still look forward to.

I really want to try posting photos again, as well as taking photos. I haven't touched my DSLR in months (part of the reason is my favorite lens broke, waaah), so I need to get started with it again! Photography is one of my passions and I need to remember that!

I'm having a sick day today because I hit my head really hard THREE TIMES in one of our exhibits yesterday during morning husbandry and I feel like I might have a concussion :/ So hopefully I feel better soon!

(all the photos not from my instagram are from weheartit.com)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

still

Still not dead.

Still probably on hiatus.

Still trying to survive the Texas heat.

And still having a lot of fun.

Monday, May 19, 2014

10 Things I Love

It's that time again! That vague time of the week (or possibly every other week...or not) where I talk about the ten things that I'm loving currently!

1)



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Stepping up a parrot

This might sound like a completely inane thing to someone who isn't an animal person. To someone who isn't even a bird person. But stepping up a parrot is a huge deal. Parrots are incredibly social animals, but they can also be hard to read. They provide you with hints and cues that are so subtle, it seems like nothing. A tiny dilation of the pupil or a slight slicking back of the feathers and all of a sudden you're in the emergency room. Some parrots are small and a bite is nothing but a bruise, or some broken skin. With macaws, it's a different issue entirely. Which is why this prospect was so exciting. I've only held a macaw twice before in my life, when I worked at the aviary. This was my third time and it was magical. I'm starting to work with Kogi, our Military Macaw, and yesterday was a huge step in our relationship. After a great session, I ended it with a step-up, gave him a great big almond, and then set him back down again. I'm excited to continue working with him!

2)



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Heartfelt conversations

I had a really embarrassing slight breakdown the other day, but luckily I had someone to talk to about it. I talk to people everyday about my issues, feelings, what I ate for breakfast, etc. I'm sort of an oversharing kind of person. However, when there are big issues I have, things that eat away at my heart like a poison, I keep it inside. I don't want to bother others with things like that, and I don't want anyone to think negatively of me because of it. Yesterday I had one of those moments where everything had just one wrong all day. I felt like a royal fuck-up. So I had to say something. Luckily, I did get to have the conversation that was threatening to be regurgitated all day, and I was reassured. And we discussed our passion for our jobs, and why we do what we do. It was nice; I need these conversations from time to time.

3)



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Flying a hawk to my glove

I've had the wonderful opportunity of flying a hawk to my glove before, but never in an open air situation without a creance, onstage, during a show with 300 people in the audience. It's thrilling to be able to see people's faces as a Harris's Hawk flies low over their heads, primary feathers sweeping their hair as he flies toward my glove. It makes me proud to do what I do.

4)



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Happy Hour

Alcoholic drinks are not always involved in my top ten, but actually let's be real they usually are. Happy Hour is the best because who doesn't love lower priced drinks and snackums? I hung out with some peeps, drank A LOT, and got weird sushi. It was great.

5)



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Sleeping in during a thunderstorm

During my weekend, there was a huge thunderstorm overnight. It lasted into the morning, and I love love LOVE the feeling of knowing you can just stay in bed, snuggle into the blankets, and not have to worry about going out in the rain. It reminds me of Jack Johnson's song, "Banana Pancakes".

6)



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Impulse candy

Sometimes, you go shopping for just a couple of necessary items and you see a bin filled with 99 cent candy. And sometimes a box of Whoppers is perched precariously on the edge of that bin. And sometimes the Whoppers call to you with their sweet siren voices. And then you buy a box and eat the whole thing. WELP it might've happened to me...

7)



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Hoenn confirmed!

HOENN REMAKES HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED! The Sapphire and Ruby pokemon games are very near and dear to my heart, and now they're going to be in 3D!!! AHHH! Now I HAVE to get a 3DS! Shouldn't the first big purchase I make with my new adult paycheck be a gameboy?

8)



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Burning Man

Once again, the possibility of Burning Man looms on the horizon. Will I ever actually go to this phenomenon? And if I do, will I ever have enough space on my 16 gb memory card for all the photos I'm going to take? Alibus invited me to go with her fan, and she is definitely going this time and I really want to join her because it will literally be EPIC. I just need to figure out how to swing vacation time and see if I can afford a ticket. Other than that, I'm golden! If I did end up going (which I really hope I do!), I would definitely want to make gifts to hand out, since that is a Burning Man tradition!


9)



Feeding tigers

THAT'S RIGHT, I fed a tiger! Jess has a friend in Houston who works at an aquarium (where they have tigers...), and we were able to visit her and see the white tigers and then FEED THEM! We also were able to feed a sloth and visit their behind-the-scenes animals, like parrots, fennec foxes, and Auger Buzzards.

10)



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Roadtrips!

(also I'm having a love affair with this picture)

I love roadtrips. I am a person specially made for road trips. My entire family dislikes them; my mother becomes hostile after about 12 hours (which is how long our beachhouse trips were). I have fond memories of waking up at 5 AM and either having toasted waffles with butter pressed into our hands or stopping at the McDonald's drive thru for a sausage mcmuffin, trying to stay awake so I could watch the stars as we drove on quiet highways, faces illuminated by the dashboard lights. My mom prepared us "roadtrip baskets" filled with games and puzzles to keep us occupied during our trip. I distinctly remember receiving a Jabba's Palace Star Wars micromachine set and I was THRILLED. Roadtrip soundtracks were composed of Peter, Paul, and Mary, The Beatles, and Simon and Garfunkle. I love roadtrips.

Jess and I went on a roadtrip to Houston! Houston is only 3 hours away, which isn't as exciting as the 12 hour trip to central Cali, but it was still a roadtrip. We listened to a lot more Ke$ha than I would have as a child (since she didn't really exist yet as an artist). I love roadtrips.

Special Mention

-Friends who listen to your bitchin'
-Every America's Next Top Model episode is on Hulu Plus and I'm freaking out right now
-Corner Bakery Mac 'n Cheese
-Giving a porcupine a high-five
-Trained alligators
-Otter cuties
-Drive-through bars

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

10 things I love

Oh mannnn I am sucking at this whole once a week consistent blog post thing. I have been so busy with work and trying to experience the things South Texas has to offer and not wanting to miss out on anything, but it's also exhausting. So exhausting that I finally broke down and got sick. I slept like, 14 hours last night though so hopefully that helps me out.

1)



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Carnivals at night/sunset

We're going to a CARNIVAL TONIGHT!!! And I love carnivals at night so so much because of all the beautiful glowy, rainbow lights! So beautifulll! This one in particular is right on the beach, which is even better ♥


2)



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Reading nerdy books about training

I have been reading through what some people call the "animal trainer's bible" and it's awesome. I spend nights off when I'm not doing anything else watching TV in the background while I flip through the book and take notes. NERD ALERT.

3)



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Bob's Burgers

This show is so amazing. I was only sort of into the first season, though there were some truly laugh out loud moments, but since the second season I have been consistently loving it. Especially since every character is basically AMAZING!

4)



Possibilities for volunteering with rehab

I used to do rehab occasionally (mostly for raptors), and I miss it! This is a photo of me when I was at REGI and I tube-fed a GHOW. I'm also a novice rehabilitator in the state of MN! So I'm going to apply to volunteer at the ARK, a rehab facility that takes care of birds and sea turtles! I'm excited for the prospect.

5)



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The Bird Cage

I just watched this movie last night and it was AMAZINGGGG!! I loved it so much. Robin Williams is perfection, I absolutely adore Nathan Lane, and their "maid" Agador was THE BEST. Soooo yeah, I really liked it.

6)



My new car! And help getting that new car.

My Opa flew in from Utah to help me find a new car because the process was EXHAUSTING. We looked at so many different cars and it was so hot and humid and by the end I was so incredibly brain-dead I had to make a choice and I went with a blue Rio Kia! I love her (I think she's a girl car), I'm just sad that she's not a standard :( But I've gotten used to the automatic. Plus, she's BLUE.

7)



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Fiesta eggs or Cascarones

Cascarones are a hispanic tradition; they're colored eggs with paper mache glued on the end to keep in beautiful sparkly confetti. You smash them on other people's heads and it gives them good luck! This past week was Fiesta week in San Antonio, a festival celebrated in conjunction with Easter (it's kind of like Mardi Gras), and these guys were everywhere. We got some for animal enrichment, too, which was AWESOME to see the boys crush them in their talons.

8)



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San Antonio River Walk

The River Walk is so beautiful! I loved it a lot. It was cool by the river, we ate mexican food and drank margaritas, watched boats going by, and then we went on a boat tour!

9)



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Mutton Busting

The cutest sport EVER! I almost used a photo from a website talking about how it was child and animal abuse, but the sheep really just trot around the arena and the child tumbles off. Children tumble of trees all the time and they're FINEEEE. Anyways, we watched it during the rodeo we went to for Buccaneer Days, a festival held in Corpus Christi each year!


10)



Servals in boxes

The other day we gave our serval a box for enrichment and as I left at the end of the day, I saw him sitting in it. IT WAS SO CUTE!!! Proof that any sized cat loves a good box.

I have once again spent most of the day on my bed in my jim jams. Time to go grocery shopping and get some stuff done before I go to the carnival!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

weekend updates

Oh hey Internet world, what's going on? It's been a week since I last (sort of) updated, and even though I don't really have any new pictures to share or anything, I still have been living it up in the world of south Texas!

My training with Nacho, our Red-Legged Seriema, is going really well! Aside from some particular errors (don't get me started), she is going into her crate immediately upon opening the door (her cue), and she stays in there calmly. She is having issues leaving immediately because she thinks, "Hey, I'm being reinforced in the crate!", but we're working on that. Next up is to try carrying her. SO EXCITING (this is my dream).



I learned one of my favorite people in my department is leaving for a different position :( She's going to still be at the aquarium, which I'm happy about, but it will still be different without her. A little harder (again, don't get me started). But I'll make it. This is what I want to do, I won't be run off so easily. Anyway, because she's leaving I might be able to start working with her animal she was training, Mr. Wendel the Southern Tamandua!



Southern Tamanduas have HUGE claws on their front paws for ripping open the earth to find ants and other social insects, but also to protect themselves if they feel threatened. Sooo I need him to get used to my scent first before I really start working with him, so he won't try to attack me, but so far it's been good. I've been taking him on walks with his trainer and feeding him juice to associate my smell with something positive, and he's never acted defensively when I've been near him, even when I touch his little nose! So cuuuuteeeee!!!

My other training DREAMS are to train our Eurasian Eagle Owl to be in shows again (he wads in shows ONCE), so I can handle him and basically be in love because I have always wanted to work with a Eurasian. Also to work with our Crested Cara-Cara because he is beautiful and adorable and makes little grunts.

I'm FINALLY done petsitting for my coworker so it's been nice to just hang out at my own house with my own birds instead of another couple of slightly crazy animals. Though I did get to have some fun times, like going on birding walks (where I saw Scissor-Tailed Flycatchers and Purple Gallinules!) with Argos and cuddling the cats.





So that was fun, but I know that having a dog at this point in time is definitely not for me. An important lesson to learn.

In the past week, I've been to an amazing 80s cover band called The Spazmatics which was SO FUN! Like, SO FUN. I went with my friend Roxie and we stood right up front, swooned when the singers looked at us, and I sang and danced to EVERY. SONG.



Since we were so close, we made eye contact with the band OFTEN and sometimes they sang to us!

I went to trivia night at one of my favorite bars and we advanced from 11th place to 7th! YAY!! One of the categories was all about rabbits in honor of Easter and we KILLED IT. Get several animal people together and their intensity is overwhelming as soon as trivia stops talking about geography and starts asking the important questions, like, "what is the word for an animal that is active at dawn and dusk?" We all FREAKED. OUT. Also when answers were being read, we basically barked and howled for every correct answer we got.

We went to Whiskey River again and some guys taught me how to dance! With the twirls and everything! I'll become a two-stepper, yet. My favorite part of Whiskey River is learning line dances. I've learned a couple and I feel almost like a real Texan now. Whiskey River, while semi-weird, is still pretty great due to its cheap drinks. Actually, most of Corpus has cheap drinks!

Tonight I had movie night with Elise and Laura, which was super nice. I love going out, but it's also amazing to be able to just chill with peeps in comfy clothes and eat candy in front of the TV.

Tomorrow we are throwing an ORPHAN EASTER party!! A bunch of us who don't have family here are bringing food items to Stewie's house and are going to feast, chill in the hot tub, play volleyball, and have an awesome Easter Sunday.

Now time for bed; I'm supes tired. Nighty night, fireflies.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

good things

-I'm training a Red-Legged Seriema to crate

-I get to play with an otter on a daily basis

-I flew a Harris's Hawk to my glove and it felt like I've been with the birds all along

-I went grocery shopping yesterday and have many fresh things to eat

-It's spring (for reals this time)

-I'm going to the beach today with Jess and a bucket of margaritas