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The Chronicles of a Wanna-be Librarian
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7th-Sep-2013 08:05 pm - Surfing Lessons

The later summer got, the more antsy I got about wanting to learn to surf. So far it had been the only resolution that I hadn't at all attempted. Eric was a little hesitant because he was out of practice and we only had one board, but I finally convinced him.

About a month ago we took our first trip out to Manhattan beach. Obviously I was awful: I had no balance on the board and couldn't paddle fast enough to catch up with the wave. Eric and I would switch off, one on the board the other paddling around and we tired quickly. After four hours we finally decided to call it a day; Eric had caught a few waves and was regaining his surflegs, while I had only caught a few waves enough to ride for a foot or two.

It wasn't a great success, but it was such an exhilarating feeling. It woke something up in both of us and we couldn't wait to go back out. Naturally because it was my first time, and Eric's first here in Cali, we set up the GoPro on the board and recorded it. The video is hilarious.

I was so jazzed about learning to surf, that night I found a well taken care of longboard on sale for a great price and bought it.
The very next weekend we went back out only the waves we a lot more consistent and a lot more powerful. I had a hard enough time handling Eric's smaller board in the waves the weekend prior, but I really had no control over that longboard. It's too buoyant to duck dive with and I didn't have the technique down to get past the break, so I kept getting tumbled by the waves and losing the board. I also didn't know not to follow out directly behind another surfer: twice as I was tumbling under the water, trying to regain my footing, Eric's board slipped out of his grasp and smacking me on the head. The second time was far worse and I stood up seeing spots.

We headed back to the sand and Eric checked me for a concussion; we determined that I had a minor concussion. I didn't want to give up just yet, so we went back out. Unfortunately I was still dizzy and not feeling very confident, so I went back to the sand and let Eric take my longboard out. Here's a link to his video from that day.

It took two weeks before I was mostly recovered enough to brave the waves again (Like what I did there?). This time we decided to check out a calmer beach and headed up towards Malibu. I was nervous, nothing wakes you up like getting cracked on the head so hard you see spots... under water.  After a few moments to gather my gumption I went out with Eric's board instead of mine because I at least had a better idea of how to handle it. With Eric's board I caught 3 waves and rode them into shore. I didn't bother trying to stand up, I knew I would have fallen and was distracted by how amazing it felt to be carried by the wave. It feels almost as though the wave is going to flip you over, but instead of falling forward you're just pushed forward and carried by wave's own power. It was so unlike any other feeling, being able to pull my arms out of the water after paddling and just let the wave do the work.

I did try out my board and, though I still don't have a good handle on it, I did catch a wave for a short while before the board was tossed and I accidentally body surfed for the first time. Because the GoPro is now on my board and I spent most of the time on Eric's board, this lesson's video only shows me for short bit. Watch here.

Though the concussion really did a number on my confidence, the last lesson was such a dramatic improvement - not only for the fact that I didn't get a concussion, but because I actually caught and rode the waves for the first time - that we're going to try and make this a weekly trip. We're going back out tomorrow morning.

10th-Aug-2013 04:38 pm - Resolution Recap #7

Another late one.

As I posted previously, the Fundraiser was a success. We raised a total of $3000 including the online donation site. I'm proud of all the support and all the help we received, and glad it's over. Christine is in Illinois with Lorna and the rest of the family; she was able to give Lorna the gift I mentioned briefly in an previous post: a shawl. I liked it so much I'm in the middle of making another one for myself.

I didn't get an opportunity to work on July's monthly adjective project, so I plan on getting to it this month. I did, however, photograph two really great events. One of which I thought was a Bridge to Books event, but it turns out  it was specifically a Barnes and Noble Americana event. Regardless it was a great event with 11 different authors called Summer of YA.

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24th-Jul-2013 03:59 pm - On Photography and More

My photography has been really picking up lately. Last weekend, I dropped off two photographs at Pilates and Arts for their HOT! HOT! HOT! art opening/dance party. It's this Friday from 7-10 pm. This is the art opening that inspired my Monthly Adjective Project. Eric's also going to be showing a painting.
For more info on the show click >>here<<

This week I had photographed a book event that I had been looking forward. John Barrowman, Captain Jack Harkness on Doctor Who, and his sister Carole Barrowman came to LA to do one signing of their newest book Hollow Earth. They chose to have their signing at Once Upon A Time, and I'm familiar with the owner. That store supplies the books for Bridge to Books events, and they've seen the photos I've done for BTB. When I asked if I could photograph, they very excited accepted me.

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24th-Jul-2013 02:21 pm - After the Fundraiser

The fundraiser went well! I really regretted not having either multiple arms, or the ability to be in two places at once because OMG there was so much to do and keep an eye on. We ended up with so much more stuff than we thought we'd have, both in terms of donated items for sale and food. The majority of set up was basically playing a game of Tetris with the items to make them fit on the few tables we had (that we thought would be more than enough!).

I had been stressing out about it for months and, though it was a whole lot of fun in the end, I'm really glad it's over. I've never planned anything like that before, and it is certainly not something I expect to do ever again. ha! At least not entirely by myself. By the last week I was basically this immovable blob ready to sleep like Rip Van Winkle. Without everyone who helped, this event would not have been nearly as successful as it was- I'm deeply appreciative for everyone's help from the volunteers to the buyers. Everyone played such important parts in putting together and executing this event.

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Finally getting around to telling you all about the fundraiser we've been planning for months to help Lorna Gillette with her medical bills while she vigilantly battles cancer. Anything underlined in this post is linked, go crazy, click ALL THE LINKS!

The amount of donations pouring in from amazing people all over the country has me so completely in awe. I'm so appreciative of all the support we've been receiving. So first of all thank you to all the amazing people out there who've helped make this day possible! We have a Facebook page set up for the event, with all the info and constant updates, click here to for the FB event page.

Pilates and Arts
1844 Echo Park Ave
Los Angeles, Ca 90026

Sunday July 21 from 3-7pm


We've got about 10 bakers bringing everything from tamales to stuffed peppers, cupcakes to vegan cookies and so much more. There will also be fresh made lemonade and fruit kabobs! And of course plenty of water.


Money Mark and Jerry Quickley will be providing musical and spoken word entertainment. There will be face painting and henna tattooing. We'll also be hosting four amazing raffles
($2 per ticket or 3 tickets for $5)

Raffle Prize 1
Two tickets to Golf n Stuff, a family fun entertainment park with mini golf, an arcade, food and drinks, bumper cars, and a load of other rides and games.

Raffle Prize 2
Two AMC movie tickets to any theater for any movie, two "small drink" coupons, one "small popcorn" coupon, and an assortment of candies to munch on.

Raffle Prize 3
Three Branch Classes at Pilates and Arts (your choice of Belly Dancing, Pilates Mat, Mat and Barre, Tai Chi, Wing Chun, Zumba, Cardio Boxing, or Ballet)
(60 min)
your choice of either one Private Pilates Session (60 min) or three Group Reformer Pilates Classes (60 min)

Raffle Prize 4
1 DVD Jay and Silent Bob Get Irish, 1 Silent Bob action figure, and 1 Jay and Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie poster all autographed and donated by Jason Mewes himself specifically for this fundraiser!

Silent Auction
We will also have one silent auction for one set of Jay and Silent Bob's Bluntman and Chronic Action figures signed by both Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes (must have cash on hand and be able to pay and pick up by the end of the fundraiser, sign up sheet and info will be at the raffle table).

Items for Purchase

We've had so many donations from so many amazing people! Most of the donations were hand made or created by artists and supporters. There will be something for everyone at very reasonable prices.

Bring plenty of money because we'll have:
Handmade Jewelry
Framed Paintings
Framed Photographs
Hand Knit Scarves
Hand Knit Beanies
Hand dyed eco friendly Tie Dyed children's clothing in a variety of sizes
Handmade aprons in adorable fabrics
Helen Stringer's literary collection (autographed)
An assortment of books (new and used)
Handmade Sock Monsters
More Donations by Jason Mewes
and SO SO MUCH MORE! For an idea of what to expect follow this link to the my flickr with photos of some of the items for sale.

So please please please tell your friends, family, coworkers, and arch rivals to come and check out the fundraiser. Get a bite to eat, enjoy some good music and poetry, maybe buy an item or enter one of the raffles and go home knowing you helped our family so very much and we appreciate it so deeply.

For more info on Lorna's condition click here.

For more info on the Fundraiser click here.

4th-Jul-2013 11:17 pm - "Oh Lawd Jesus It's a Farr"

Yesterday one of my dad's apartments in Silverlake caught on fire. Apparently the tenant accidentally left a lit cigarette somewhere in his room and *poof* the place went up in a freaking blaze. I found out about it on my way to work, and spent pretty much all of my evening getting information via twitter and @LAFDTalk. Nobody was hurt, thank goodness, and my dad has epic fire insurance.

I went over today to survey the damage and photograph the place. It's pretty tore up in there and the smell hangs on to your clothing for hours after. It was haunting to see how the fire ate away at the place.


1st-Jul-2013 08:01 pm - Resolution Recap #6
well then


Three more weeks til the fundraiser! Things are beginning to fall into place and now we're collecting the last of the items and planning the event lay out. I promise I'll have a post soon with all the details. To go along with this, I've made a shit ton of new earrings for the fundraiser. I've got about 15 pair, with a couple more planned. I'm still debating whether or not I want to make more after pay day.

I've still been a bit slow with reading. I've been averaging a book a week, but I haven't kept my resolution of reading at least an hour a day.

I still haven't done anything in regards to my new website, but I've been talking to Eric about conjoining our Etsy accounts, and I think that's a fine idea. Between the two of us we're bound to sell something and we'll have quite a bit of diversity up there. Now we just have to come up with a name.

Photography Portfolio:
I also worked on my first monthly adjective project. June's word was "hot" and this is what I came up with:


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17th-Jun-2013 12:30 am - Resolution Recap #5

I know I'm really late for this, but this May's really really late Resolution Recap.

The fundraiser is at a bit of a standstill. There's only a month left of the donation website and we'd been hovering at $1300 for about a month now. My friend Travis helped me out a lot by selling my earrings at the Renaissance Faire. That made about $200 and brought us up to $1565. The bakesale/fundraiser planned for July 21 at Pilates and Arts has an event page on Facebook now. I've had a lot of friends promise to donate items, and I've spent most of this month collecting those items. We've got everything from adorable aprons, to earrings, to all the food stuffs you can imagine, and art prints from a number of local artists. We're working on flyers, and as soon as next month rolls around we're going to start advertising heavily. I'm terrified and stressed the fuck out, but I think it'll be good. Good news is that Lorna's cancer free right now, and she's got a limited amount of chemo treatments coming. So all of this money is going to help their hospital bills, but we know that it's got a limit and it's attainable. Last I heard they owed about $7000.

I got my tattoo!

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17th-Jun-2013 12:02 am - Artist's Limbo

It feels as though I've hit a bit of a brick wall creatively. I've been so stressed out with everything going on lately that I haven't really been putting 100% of myself into everything I do. I've been half-assing things a lot and yesterday it kind of bit me in the ass.

Yesterday was the Atwater Art Walk. Eric entered and won last year. I had planned on entering this year and I thought I'd missed the deadline until I received an email a couple of weeks ago mentioning that they were still accepting art. I didn't really take it too seriously and entered two photos that I had up at Pilates and Arts last year. The theme was "tell us your story" and I made up some BS about the photos being a part of a series reflecting the stages of life. I did this partly out of laziness, reading way too deep into the theme, and because I didn't really like the stories behind the photos which were basically just good timing and boredom. (no really). As opposed to Cannibal Flower and Pilates and Arts, the idea that I was being judged (there were competitions and winners were picked) made me feel horrible. I know people at other art shows judge, but their opinions mean nothing to me because there's no potential prize, there's no real competition. Knowing that my photos were being judged for a reason just killed me, especially knowing that I had better photos with better stories. It was kind of degrading for me, and I beat myself up about it mentally all night.

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Part 2

Aside from visiting Hemingway, the only other touristy thing I really wanted to do this trip was to snorkel. I used to snorkel more often here at home, usually at the coves of Laguna beach, lately it's been money for gas and time off from work keeping me from continuing. I know my tio Victor, Tia Idania, Mayito and Vitico are all snorkelers. They're basically merpeople considering how experienced they are at snorkeling. So we planned a day trip Saturday afternoon to my cousin Leivy and her wife's house in Boca Jaruco, where it was only a short walk to some coves. My tia stayed back with  Leivy to cook, and unfortunately my Tio forgot his mask, so it was just me and the boys snorkeling. Because it had been so long since I last snorkeled and my fins are showing signs of ware with a stress line right across the middle of the fin, keeping up with my cousins was a little tough. I didn't dive at all, but I got some great photos and video of the coral with my GoPro. The coral in that area wasn't very vibrant, most of it was dead, but it was still a sight better than the murky water of Laguna.

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