Wednesday, April 22, 2015
My vase of special memories I've made so far this year. Included in this vase are:
-a cork from a champagne bottle popped on New Year's in Spain that landed in my mother's hood
-a half-shell from a nut that was given to me by a Green-Winged Macaw
-a bird band that I got in my swag bag at the IAATE conference
-a shark tooth from our (now deceased) Sand Tiger Shark
Sonora the White-Nosed Coati on a walk.
We occasionally go to the local beach bar after work to grab some beers, or in this case some fruity cocktails. Shots are involved sometimes, too.
This year there was not an Orphan's Easter, but I was still taken in by some friends who were having their own Easter dinner. We ate delicious glazed ham, drank wine, and played Pokemon Snap. I was obsessed with their apartment because they have so many interesting things, including this little gem and crystal collection!
Earth has recently decided she really likes to hang out in my room, especially on my bed.
Bo, the American Alligator, bellowing. His vocalizations sound like a motorcycle attempting to start up.
Laura and I were originally going to go on a day trip to a town 45 minutes away, but plans were cancelled last minute and we instead watched The Bachelorette and ate Grimaldi's pizza. I then stopped by a drive-thru bar to grab a peach bellini and drank it poolside for the rest of the afternoon. It was glorious.
I am behind; this past week I have been bad at taking photos because I've been feeling pretty down. I'm feeling better again (all part of this constantly fluctuating life of mine!) and have been bringing my camera everywhere with me again, so I'm patching up the holes and will be back to posting regularly again hopefully soon!
In more exciting news, I am going to Utah in just a couple of days! My Opa is (possibly? Maybe?) retiring and so he is having a big party! My Oma graciously purchased a ticket for me to fly out there for the party so I can partake in familial activities such as drinking lots of wine and yelling loudly! SO EXCITED!
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
The lighting at The National Seashore was fantastic with the cloud cover. I bought a season pass since it's so nice, wild, and away from everything and we spent hours exploring beaches.
We went to the botanical gardens where they take in unwanted or "problem" parrots. I spent ages playing with the cockatoos, ugh I love them so much. This little girl was named Misouko and when we left to visit other birds she would cling to the side of her cage and murmur "pretty bird" as she did little crest flips. We took pictures of Swallowtail butterflies, saw cottontail rabbits nibbling on clovers, and then got snow cones with ice-cream afterwards.
We all went for a walk with Mr. Wendell, our Southern Tamandua, as a final goodbye before he left for the Memphis Zoo, where he will live out a happy life as a proud creator of many little baby tamanduas. You can see his tongue in this shot!
We kept on planning to go to the beach after I finished with work each day, but it was basically terrible weather the entire time Cleo was here. We finally decided to brave the 30+ mph winds and determinedly frolicked in the ocean and attempted to do some embroidery with sand whipping everywhere. I'm glad we went.
Cleo and I planned on camping out at the National Seashore, so we had a bonfire on the beach and invited a bunch of my Texas friends. It was windy (of course), but super fun!
The next morning we woke up early enough to watch the sun rise over the ocean after we had put away all our gear. We then finished off the trip with a trip to a delicious local diner. The perfect end to an amazing trip!
April Fool's! I had some googly eyes leftover from the year I played a similar April Fool's joke on my mom (putting eyes on everything in our fridge), so I put them all over the apartment.
This weekend has been a great balance of productivity and relaxation. I did a bunch of chores yesterday, went to the volunteer banquet where we went to a swanky roof bar after the ceremonies, then spent today watching a movie with Laura complete with Grimaldi's pizza, drinking and reading by the pool, taking Earth for a (semi-drunken) walk, and now mentally prepping myself for work this next week.
I think I truly am going to follow my mother's advice and create a mural that says "I believe in myself" in glitter.
Friday, April 3, 2015
Dogsitting this mush face.
My beautiful Kogi-Man! I love this bird so much, words cannot even describe how proud I am of him. He just learned how to fly two years ago and is not totally confident in his abilities. This led to fly-offs that were stressful for him and his trainers (aka me). I have been working on upping his confidence by flying him around the aquarium and allowing him to land on different things, rewarding him and showing him he can land anywhere he needs to in order to prevent flying to the restaurant down the street. In this photo we had just finished his first outdoor session in MONTHS where, even though he spooked, he remained calm and flew to a random perch onstage.
A pastel sunset.
I love this photo so much. After work some of us headed to a beach bar down the street from the aquarium, where they've set up a ferris wheel in preparation for summer. This photo screams warm weather memories to me.
Corona, the Eclectus who has frequented a few of these posts, is a proud papa! This chick is a few hours old and standing tall! Or he was for about three seconds before passing out again.
My friend, Cleo, was supposed to fly in for her week-long visit this day but her flight was hideously delayed so she missed all of her connecting flights. I spent the entire day on edge, wondering when or if she would get in, and doing mundane chores. At least I had the birds to keep me company.
Cleo finally made it! We celebrated by going to the beach (of course) and going out for gluten-free pizza and drinks!
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Girl's Night! We watched Center Stage, ate pizza, drank A LOT, and learned how to spell "blood" with our hands
I bought myself the "new" pokemon game and Taco Bell. Happy Friday to me.
I didn't want to accidentally spill green beer on my DSLR, so I brought my instax mini camera to the St. Patrick's Day block party held downtown every year. We pre-gamed with tequila shots, drank green beer, listened to live music, and I accidentally elbowed a cop in the face.
Andie and Geoff got me this watch at Toys 'R Us so I of course had to wear it to work. The best part: it's a snap bracelet watch. My inner '90s child rejoiced.
There's a convenient side street off the main road that we use to walk the dog, go running, etc. but there's a semi-creepy sign reading "Beware the shadowstalker" hanging on someone's fence. I think I may have found the shadowstalker…
St. Patrick's Day!! I was starting to get sick so I unfortunately didn't go out, but I was able to create a nerdy holiday-themed photoshoot with Maeby, my little green bean.
Tree climbing is required in the springtime. Or anytime, really. This climb caused approximately 1,000,000 mosquito bites, but it was worth it.
I am BEHIND on posting about this project!! I have the photos but once again have been too busy to post! One of my best friends visited me from Salt Lake this past week and it was a FANTASTIC time!! We visited a butterfly garden, talked to parrots, got snowcones, went to the beach, went camping, ate rice bowls, went out to breakfast, embroidered, watched Vincent Price movies, watched the sunrise, had a bonfire, watched a really good horror movie that TERRIFIED me, and talked A LOT. It was truly one of the best times I've ever had; whenever someone comes to visit me it really forces me to go outside my routine to make sure they have a good time, and in the process I have THE GREATEST time. My hair still smells faintly of campfire, my tent has been thrown over my fence to dry, I'm incredibly sore, and I am happy.
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!