Tuesday, March 24, 2015
My favorite statue in Puerta del Sol, a plaza just a half mile from my parents' apartment. It's called El oso y el madroño, "the bear and the strawberry tree".
Plaza Mayor, another plaza two blocks up from my parents' apartment, holds one of the many giant Christmas markets that cover Madrid during the holiday season. A woman with her fancy pigeons was trying to make a couple bucks by taking people's photos with them. I loved the pink fantail, I contemplated getting a picture with her until she shoved them back into a book bag. Literally. Shoved them into a book bag.
Gabe stated, "That's hella meta."
One of the creepier statues around the train station. People were making out right next to it. "Talking Heads" indeed.
We traversed the wall surrounding the town of Avila and I fell in love with the ancient stonework greenery. Centuries of moss, ferns, lichen, and algae have grown into the cracks of the rock, intricate art in its own right.
Aves de la ciudad
City graffiti on crumbling walls appeals to me so much.
I will never not be friends with pigeons.
My friend sent me this postcard from Harry Potter World (so jealous!) and I knew it would look great amongst my collection of Snowy Owls. They are all named Hedwig.
This photo is blurry, but I still like it. I played Tug-of-War with Earth while I cooked dinner.
Cowboy is one of the most beautiful birds I have ever worked with. He is one of our most handsome, and I love the contrast of his colors against the wooden slats of his mew.
Hung out with Corona the Eclectus (and his owner, of course) and did what any self-respecting animal trainer would do: take shots and train birds!
I've been wanting to learn how to embroider for a long time and I finally went out and bought all the supplies for it. It took me probably half an hour to make this incredibly simple design, but I'm excited to complete other, more intricate projects!
Laura, Elise, and I all had a "Triangle Night" and watched Tenth Kingdom while chowing down on Panda Express. The dogs are also invited, so while we took an ice-cream break Laura played with Chunk on the floor.
Maeby loves drinks (just like her mama) so she was super interested in getting a taste of my wine as I watched the Bachelor finale. Don't worry, she didn't get any.
This week was filled with a lot of slightly blurry or yellowy lit pictures because a lot of them were taken at night. Unfortunately, I'm not always able to take photos in the golden hours of the day or even in natural light, so I have to remember to make the best of any situation. And a lot of my fun happens at night! So I'm okay with them, they are still memories and good memories at that :)
I am semi-behind on blogging about this project, but that's just because life has been pretty hectic and somewhat stressful lately. I've been sick, stressed, and depressed (the best things), but I'm feeling a little better sick-wise and back to my normal cheerful/manic self which feels good, like a relief. Cleo gets in today in the evening for a week-long visit and I am SO EXCITED. Hopefully we will have many embroidery parties!
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
My new little succulent in its handmade planter from Spain.
I spent a couple of days being super anti-social as I read this book. I took it to work to read at lunch and I read it at home into the late hours of the night. I love spooky books, and Gillian Flynn is an amazingly detailed, gritty writer.
I went to a penis-themed birthday party for a friend, whose roommate is owned by this beautiful male Eclectus. He was overstimulated and not interested in getting to known me, but I liked him.
Egon at the end of his training session. He really liked this lizard AKA beat the shit out of it every chance he got.
Doing some call to locations with Jackie.
I have discovered love, and its name is sea salt carmel ice-cream. I can't stop eating it, which is both so bad and so good.
We went to the beach with the dogs and saw this group of people riding horses in the surf!
The weather is slowly but surely getting steadily warmer (and then dropping in temperature and then torrentially raining and then producing 30 mph winds), so I look forward to more outdoor activities! My friend Cleo arrives in just a couple of weeks so I spent this past weekend (week 10, which will be posted soon!) doing A TON of chores and cleaning. Not the most fun way to spend the weekend, but at least it was productive. And I did get to still eat some delicious food and hang out with friends. Looking forward to a girl's night, a scary movie night, possible "spring break"-like beach shenanigans, and hopefully some embroidery moments this next week! For now, I'm going to end the weekend in style with some wine and the Bachelor finale!
Sunday, March 1, 2015
We went to the Carolina Raptor Center, clusters of raptor mews within a barren forest. I loved it.
We were able to watch a Barred Owl release. Wildlife rehabilitation releases are always magical.
My old boss and good friend (who reminds me of Ron Swanson) won a conservation grant to help taxidermy some owls for a class. He was so excited.
My notes from the conference. There is A LOT of material: 42 pages from my training workshop and 12 pages of notes from the paper presentations and enrichment workshop, but I am so happy to have these references to look back on.
I hooked up my Gamecube and played Harvest Moon all night on my Friday; the conference had me partied out.
My to-do list for the day was to obtain donuts and a succulent. Check and check.
I woke up to find a perfect, white egg at the bottom of Maeby's cage. She's never laid one before, so I was slightly shocked. I gave her a calcium block and some fortified juices to replete her energy stores.
I am incredibly happy that I was able to attend the IAATE conference. I learned so much, like sooo much. I am completing a presentation for my department over my weekend summarizing the info I learned (which is going to be rough; it's only supposed to be a ten minute presentation…) and have been assembling my swag, preening it into the layout of my room. I took tequila shots with some of the best bird trainers in the world, saw board members playing "butt darts", played card games until 2 in the morning, saw my friend ("Ron Swanson") drink kestrel-themed wine for the first time in my life (his wife didn't even know he drank), visited with old friends and met tons of new friends, and basically had a fantastic time. It was definitely overwhelming (I had no idea that people partied so hard at conferences. I WAS WRONG.), but it pushed me outside of my comfort zone and that is good. I can't wait to go again! And again, and again, and again...
Thursday, February 26, 2015
I made myself fish and vegetables for dinner, a feat I'm pretty proud of since my dinners are usually a box of mac 'n cheese and applesauce.
I won a postcard from sketchynotions on Instagram! I love it so much, it was just what I needed on this gloomy day (I also painted my nails!)
I celebrated Valentine's Day with my roommate, whose boyfriend is living on the east coast, at the moment. We got drunk on Moscato, ate Girl Scout cookies and vietnamese fusion takeout, and watched The Other Woman. Perfection.
A relaxing night in.
Packing for the IAATE (International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators) conference!
The city lights outside my hotel room in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina.
My conference swag. Our team, "You Gotta Be Falcon Kidding Me", won first place at trivia which is why wine is included in this layout (unfortunately, they don't hand out a bottle of wine at registration).
I was taking the pictures, but got behind with posting and editing for this project. I had an AMAZING time in North Carolina at the IAATEconference, which deserves its own post, and have since been spending my time back trying to catch up on sleep and things around the house (I got an average of four hours of sleep a night in NC, I didn't realize how hard people partied at conferences). A new work week is upon me (after a mixed bag of a weekend), but I'm ready to face it. I am excited for training prospects and am attempting to instill confidence in everything I do. Hit me, March (just kidding, please don't hit me, just tap me lightly). THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID. Okay I'm done.
Sunday, February 15, 2015
One of my best friends knows I'm having a really hard time lately, so she sent me these lovely earrings. I'm so happy to have such great friends :')
Such drama, such flair.
I went to an artwalk downtown to support a new friend and saw this free coffee stand (who can say no to free coffee?). They were asking for tips to help out their needy cactus, so I of course obliged.
An Osprey seen outside of soundbooth! I love Osprey so much, they remind me of Minnesota.
A quirky corner of the soundbooth, our "office". It contains our jar 'o feathers, our canned owl, and Valencia the Peregrine Falcon.
Making charms. Do they look familiar?
I went for a walk on the beach since the weather was amazing. For being so close, I am appallingly bad at going to the beach right now, so I'm attempting to change that.
This past week as sort of been meh, but my weekend was FANTASTIC! I'm not getting ready to go to my very first conference for work! SO EXCITED.
Thursday, February 5, 2015
Took a sick day due to my illness and spent a lot of the day crafting. Accomplishments: defeated the Pokemon League in Pokemon X, made a birthday painting for my friend, practiced with watercolors, took a glorious, healing nap, and ate delicious sandwiches.
Snapped a photo of my neighbors' pretty plants on a walk with Earth and the rookie.
Guess who won a superhero costume contest at the gay club? This girl! I won $50 that I then promptly spent on alcohol and snacks for the Superbowl the next day.
Making jesses on Superbowl Sunday.
My Friday was uneventful, in fact this is one of the only photos I took this day. Luckily, it's of Merlin being adorable.
Took my friend to the airport and got breakfast along the way. It's been a looong time since I've been out to breakfast and it was delicious, however it was also the start of a very terrible morning :(
A master falconer took me out hunting, which was FANTASTIC. We met up with two other falconers who flew a merlin and a gyrfalcon. This photo is of the gyr after he failed to grab a pigeon. He flew back toward us, hoping for some easier prey.
This past week has had its ups and downs, but I am so happy to have been keeping up with this project. I've been taking tons of photos, way more than I had last year at this time, and I am super psyched to be using them for something. Each day I get excited about what I'm going to document, and I find myself wanting to go on more adventures so that I can take better photos (ideally I should want to go on adventures for adventure's sake, of course, but lately that's not been very possible for me due to depression blah blah blah). So basically this makes me happy :) And I feel like things are getting better every day.