Thursday, August 28, 2008

Piper's First Bath (and Last)!

When I got back yesterday I went to pet Piper, who as pretty much all of you know, is my cat. I got him as a kitten from my friend, whose cat had just had a litter, when I was just starting 6th grade. That makes him 8 years old next month.
Piper has very thick fur because it's sort of crimped naturally. Anyway, his fur was all greasy and he had quite a bit of dandruff. I decided I'd give him a bath. He's never had a bath in his life. It turned out to be quite an adventure...
I made some pet shampoo out of corn meal (for exfoliation), white vinegar (only a little, but this is a really good non-toxic cleaner that can be used for just about anything), and some mild hand soap.

I mixed in some water to dilute it and then brushed Piper down to get out all (ha, it never ends) the loose hair.
(You may notice his right eye isn't normal...he's had scar tissue over it for some peculiar reason since he was about a year old. I think Skipper or Sylvester scratched him in the eye once or something.)
Then I started the process. I didn't want to force him to sit directly in water and I didn't want to turn the water on while he was in the tub because I'm pretty sure he'd freak, so I had to fill a pitcher with water and use that. I didn't wash his face because he can do that himself and I didn't want to get vinegary soap in his eyes or anything.

It didn't take very long, and although he struggled and ended up scratching up my right thigh pretty badly, he was more cooperative than I'm sure many other cats are, plus I had a pretty good grip on him. I probably could've made it out scratch-free but he started to squirm too much when I was rinsing him so I had to get into the tub and hold him.
(This was hilarious--his paws were still wet so as soon as he jumped up on the counter he slipped right off. I felt terrible but it was very very funny to see him sprawled on the floor in confusion.)
He's incredibly soft now and as fat and happy as ever. He really enjoyed the brushing I gave him afterward to get his fur all fluffed again. And he loves me even more, I'm sure :)
But Skipper, who tends to hiss at Piper whenever she sees him anyway, took one look and one sniff and started throwing a hissy fit, literally. I took this video but she stopped hissing as soon as I did. But you can still see the aftermath...

What is that mysterious clicking noise???? No clue. Sorry the video is blurry.

I'll Be Gone 500 Miles When the Day Is Done

Monday morning Dad and I left in the loaded pickup to make one of his delivery trips up north. I came along mostly so I could see family I haven't in a very long time and so I could see some of San Fransisco, which I haven't seen for many a-year. This is going to be a picture blog, so hold tight...
This is the coast somewhere near Santa Barbara. I really love this area. If I had no issue of money or anything, I'd live in Santa Barbara. It's so beautiful there. This picture is blurry because it was taken on full zoom from a moving truck through the glass.
The glare on some of these makes me sad. This is Lake Cachuma (no clue what it's called, really) where Dad used to go as a kid for some camping.
Near Santa Ynez, near the stop for our first delivery.
This blurry picture taken from the freeway between tons of other trees and buildings of a Jubaea in San Jose shows the palm tree that Dad collected the seeds that gave him his very first palm trees decades ago. (Talk about awkward sentences...)
Monday night we stayed with Aunt Carol. Nora and three of her friends from the conservation group she spent all summer with took me to a vegetarian Indian/Pakistani restaurant at like 10 o'clock that night. The food was a little spicy but SO GOOD. I had onion naan and samosa (sp?) with lentils, peas, and some other stuff in it. It was so very tasty. Then we walked home the long way and saw this cafe thing across the street. They all thought it was hilarious because in the group all they had as eating utensils was a spork with a knife on the other end. Very impractical. I took a picture of it because they all were. Anyway, Nora and I talked the whole way there and the whole way back. It was lots of fun and I'm really glad I could talk to her since I haven't seen her in forever and I can't recall ever really getting to know her. It was fun.
The next day Dad and I went to get Grandma then made off to Fisherman's Wharf, where I'd decided I wanted to spend the day. If you know me, you know that two things I absolutely love are boats and taking pictures. I took bunches of photos, but I had to pick a few descriptive favorites. If you really, really want to see the rest, I think I'll be putting them in a folder on my 'space, so you can see them when they're up.
An awesome little sail boat that made for a perfect picture...

The Balclutha, longer and taller than the Star of India and in the same class as the Falls of Clyde. This is where we spent most of our time.

View of the Balclutha's decks from the quarter deck (terminology I got from Master and Commander so it might not be right. I know the top deck on the other side is the Poop it the same on the wheel side?).
Dad and Grandma on the ferry Eureka. Can you believe she just had her 94th birthday? It's crazy. She's doing great even. Je suis proud of her for making it so far in life.
Skyline from the Balclutha's prow
A seagull...
My pirate friend...
An artsy picture of the rigging...
Our view from the restaurant where we had lunch. The food was nasty, but sort of upscale. I tried caviar for the first time and it was so incredibly GROSS. Plus the idea of eating fish eggs was a little unnerving, and I sure won't do it again. You can see the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance there...
After going to Linden that night to stay with Aunt Judy & Uncle Dick and moving off with our last two deliveries, I decided that I needed to take some more pictures. Gee that sentence was awkward, but I think I'm okay with that. Anyway, here's Pyramid (?) Lake...
Six flags! Everybody needs to ride the Superman ride. It's completely amazing.
Traffic through Los Angeles...blah. It took forEVER.
Dad decided he'd treat us to ice cream since traffic was so bad. It worked out perfectly since traffic had pretty much dissipated by the time we got back on the freeway. Here is dad enjoying his cone...
And me very pleased with my Gold Medal Ribbon shake and the lack of traffic. Almost home!
Pretty soon I was very restless and couldn't wait to get home already. The sun was starting to go down...
The fog was rolling in (or is it haze?)
The granite outcrops were weathering faster than we could drive, really.
And a HOUSE was in the middle of the street! Gah! Hindering me from my return!
Finally, home at last. I made Dad stop at the top of the hill before you go down to the house so I could take this picture. Boo for telephone poles.
Home again, home again, jiggidy jig.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bask' i'thi!

The second anniversary of Kevin and I officially dating was on August 17th. Yes, I know this is a belated blog. Anyway, to celebrate, Kevin whisked me off to the Getty Villa in Malibu on the 18th. It was tons of fun. We made fun of people trying to act sophisticated and pretended we were sophisticated too. I had a fantastic time looking at all the artifacts and discussing/explaining them to Kevin. It made me totally pumped for school next week!
Unfortunately, the Friday before I had stepped on a bee. It appears I have a mild allergy/reaction/whatsit to bee stings (both times I've stepped on a bee and reacted the same way) that includes swelling, INCREDIBLE ITCHINESS (!!!), turning purple and being creepy looking for nearly a week. So I half-hobbled throughout the day.
As soon as we got there I was starving so we ate at the overpriced cafe that served awesome Italian food.
This is what I got-- Italian-style omelette (frittata?) with a salad. SO tasty.

This is me trying to act sophisticated using an umbrella that was one of the many provided for guests (good looking out!)

And Kevin doing what he does best, eating. He had some kind of fancy pasta and even ate my leftovers.

There were some creepy things to see...

And some completely awesome things. I took tons of pictures, so I'll just put a few up to give you a taste. These are all originals or ancient reproductions (Mr creepy up there is a modern reproduction). This guy I'm pretty sure is an athlete about to throw something or else he's just about to fix his hair. He was found underwater (most ancient Greek art is, the dumb Romans stole everything and made off on ships, many of which sank en route. Other cases are that sometimes, at least in the case of Poseidon, tributes were thrown off of cliffs into the sea) and was covered in crustaceans and such until restoration artists got their paws on him and made him pretty. You can still see some mottling though. And he's lost his feet. Maybe that's what he's doing, tapping his head in the hopes that it will loosen the memory of where he left his feet...
This is a statue of Leda and Zeus in the form of a swan. Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world and reason for the Trojan War was born of this particular union. Later Leda also gave birth to Clytemnestra and Dioscori (sp?), but I don't know if Zeus was the dad in that case (they were twins). I can't recall. Anyway, the only modern restoration done on this is Leda's right big toe.
This is the goddess Nike (Nee-kay), who is the goddess of victory. This is an archaic depiction of her, so the wings aren't very fancy. And I think this is supposed to be an incense burner or something, so that's what's on her head.

This is another part of the story of Leda and the swan. Here Zeus is sitting in his little covered porch thing with his sister-ish Aphrodite (holding Eros on her arm). Zeus is asking Aphrodite for some help in seducing Leda, who is shown below kissing Swan Zeus (time lapse I guess). So you know, it's almost impossible to resist a god who's coming on to you, not to mention Leda was also slightly drugged by Hypnos (but as a girl??? the winged person with a torch to the left) to make the seducing a little easier. So don't think she had a thing for bestiality, because it wasn't her fault. I'll give you one hint who my favorite Greek deity is...Anyway, here is Nike anointing a victorious boxer (you know he's a boxer because he still has the leather strips hanging from his arms that were the ancient version of a boxing glove).
I thought I'd throw in a picture of a mosaic for good measure. Here is a lion giving some sort of African critter "the munch".
After all this, Kevin and I began some frivolity at the gift shop. Here Kevin is wearing a medusa hat. You can see the little red tongues hanging out of some of the snakes. He looks ridiculous.
Everybody should go to the Getty Villa, it's the next best thing to Greece (probably not really haha) and it's COMPLETELY FREE!!!! Well, no, that's a lie. It's $8 in parking, but if you can fit everybody in one car, it's only $8 for everyone.
By the way, the title is Ancient Greek for "Go!" So, Go!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Build Me A Boat So I Can Set Sail

One day I was at the mall in Lakewood with Justina (the one time we actually went shopping together) and I saw a fairly amazing muslin-ish bag with Mexican-style embroidery hanging on a hook at Forever 21. This being a cheapish store, I hoped for the best, but was annoyed to find that it was $25. Psh. I dropped it and moved on.
But it kept coming back to my mind. But $25??? Then I began to think...I can embroider...I have adequate sewing skills...why don't I make my own?
Then Megan told me she'd gotten a sewing machine for Mother's Day from Jared, and since I would be spending the summer with her, I could use it then!
So we went to the Corn Wagon Quilt Co. to look for fabric since Megan was feeling crafty as well.
I picked out some nice muslin for my bag and was trying to decide on something for the lining when Nathan began to get very restless and Megan wanted to leave. So we went out to the car and discovered that the keys were sitting there in Megan's bag that was resting harmlessly on the seat. Bother.
While we waited for the outcome of the race between Jared's spare key and the AAA guy, I had time to pick a fabric for the interior.
When we got home I got started on the embroidery. I decided to go with Indian-esque style stuff instead of Mexican because I did.
I never actually got to use Megan's machine because I procrastinated too long, but yesterday I just sat down and decided to finish it no matter what. And I did! I'm very proud of myself for pulling off such a feat. It's amazing-- I put in an inner zippered pocket and attached the strap thing with neato buttons that Ian said look like they belong in an Indian temple. That's the idea.

Don't go getting the idea I do crafting for fun. This is a one time thing unless I ever get a machine, then I'll probably start selling them. Mom's idea :P