Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lydia Snickers at the Otters Preposterous Proposition to Trade a Mechanical Otter for her First Born

If I were a frivolous and eccentric billionaire, I would have whole walls in my house that were just aquariums. For now I will settle with a more reasonable ten gallon tank. This tank was a very sweet present for me from David. I've been wanting a fish aquarium for a long time and he hasn't been too keen on the idea. Now that we have one, he has been having a great time with it. We started off with six fish, three False Harlequins and three Cardinal Tetras. All but one Cardinal Tetra has died. His has been dubbed 'The Little Trouper.' Once we get more fish, I'm not going to officially name them until we have had them longer than a month. I do, however, have names picked out for when this time comes. Here they are: Poindexter, Pierre, Frank Jr. ( I had a really awesome goldfish named Frank who grew very large and lived quite a while), Merryfins (In the book 'Hard Times' there is a dog named Merrylegs. I think that is the cutest name ever, so my fish gets the fish version of that name), Templeton (I've always been fond of this name for a pet) Winnifred and Willfred. I need more girl names, but so far, this is what I have chosen. The plan for the tank is to have five Cardinal Tetras, Three Cory Catfish and one Blue Dwarf Gourami.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Carolinas

My boyfriend and I just got back from a trip to the beautiful Carolinas! Here are some highlights from the trip:

1. Watching a lightening storm from the airplane! I am always thrilled when I get the window seat on a plane. I like having my normal view of the world be so completely distorted. Instead of seeing the bellies of clouds I get to see the tops of them. When I am eye level with the clouds it looks like I am in a cloud world. I also like seeing tall buildings look like tiny toys.

2. Experiencing my first 'hot' thunderstorm. I am use to rain be accompanied by cold temperatures. In the south, summertime thunderstorms are common and very exciting. It feels like it is 80 degrees but it is pouring rain and their is thunder and lightening. I've read about these so called 'summer storms' in books, but I have never experienced one myself.

3. Seeing adorable baby birds at a science museum in Raleigh. Last year at this time I was seeing baby gooselings and ducklings all over Seattle. They make my heart turn into a gooey mess every time i see them. Unfortunately, I have not seen very many baby birds at all this year.

4. The birds! I like how different places have different sorts of wildlife. Its part of what makes a place feel really different than what I am use too. In Seattle, there are tons of crows. In North Carolina, there are red cardinals. I had never seen one before this trip. They are very pretty birds. I also saw a birds nest with tiny little eggs. One of the eggs is brown and speckled instead of white. Suspicious.

5. Little animals! I saw the tiniest turtle. It could have fit in the palm of my hand. I've always been partial to turtles. Frogs and squirrels tickle my fancy too.

6. Bizzaro Land/ South of the Border. Right at the boundaries between North Carolina and South Carolina there is a tourist trap called 'South of the Border.' For seventy miles before reaching South of the Boarder, the freeway traveler is bombarded with billboards advertising the place. The billboards all feature a racist caricature of a Mexican man named 'Pedro' who tries (successfully in our case) to convince travelers to stop at South of the Boarder. The place is absolutely bizarre. There are roller coaster rides and animal statues scattered all over the place. The place looks like it should be crawling with people but its fairly desolate which gives it this eerie apocalyptic feel. We stayed only long enough to revel in the strangeness and take some snapshots to prove we were there.

7. Swimming in the ocean at night time. The moon was full and the water was warm. I use to swimming in the ice water of the pacific which is crawling with great whites. The Atlantic ocean sure takes the adrenaline rush right out of late night ocean swims. Its something I could really get use to.

8. Eating the fanciest and most delicious brunch buffet ever. I should have brought a camera to this because some of the food was a work of art. Their were a lot of scrumptious sweets to try. We also got to kick start the day with morning mimosas.

9. Watching my first sunrise over the ocean. On the day I watched the sunrise I woke up early and went to watch the sunrise by myself. I walked a long the beach and watched the beautiful sunrise and collected seashells. After the sun had finished rising, I took a morning dip. I tried to boogie board but the waves were to calm so I opted for swimming. I wish I could start every morning this way.

10. Indulging my laziness by spending hours on the patio with a book or watching free cable television.

11. Hush puppies! I really do not understand why these southern treats are not popular on the west coast. I know its really hip to be healthy, but come on! Fried balls of dough, it doesn't get much more tasty than that.

12. And of course, the people!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Trip Amongst Cliffs

I recently went to Yosemite with my Mom and Dad. We took the train and amtrack bus to get there. I like taking a train to a vacation destination. It gives the trip a romantic flare, like I am a weary traveler from a book. I also like riding on the bus and train for the eavesdropping opportunities. In Mariposa I eavesdropped on two men who sat in front of me. I deduced from their conversation that they were grandfather and grandson. They talked about ordinary things but they had crackly voices and smelled like the strongest tobacco. For some reason this made them seem more interesting. Between tidbits of ordinary conversation the grandson would try to convince his grandfather to give him a dollar so he could buy beer. For some reason, the duo seemed old fashioned to me. I felt like they belonged in either the 1930's or from the gold rush era. Mariposa is a gold rush town so maybe they were ghosts.
Yosemite was beautiful. Everything seems very tall in a city but the mountains and the waterfalls of Yosemite made the city seem small. Here are some things I saw in Yosemite:

This mountain looks like it has a frowning face engraved upon it.

It can get crowded at Yosemite, but at least this opens up ample opportunities for top notch people watching.

Apparently deer can be very dangerous. They look so gentle and docile, I just want to join them in their peaceful commune rather than run in fear.

Blue Jays are very vocal with their constant squawking, but they are very pretty too.

I was reading on the balcony, and this little fellow joined me. It was pretty darn cute.

Look at this perfect bunny rabbit cloud!

Edgar Allen Poe had it right with his sinister portrayal of the raven. Look at this guy. Positively creepy!

When I was little, I thought it looked so fun to ride down a waterfall, like in movies that take place in the tropics. This waterfall, however, would not be fun to ride down at all. It is so tall and rocky.

I heard a story about a man from the 1800's who was diagnosed with Consumption, and was told he would soon die. He moved to Yosemite, because it was his favorite place in the world, and he wanted to die in a place he loved. Year after year, he waited to die, but he kept evading death. He ended up dying as a very old man in his eighties or nineties. The person telling the story attributed his escape from early death to the fresh mountain air. This story reminded me of books from the 1800's which always have the best cures for illness. In various books I've read of all of these 'remedies' used to cure the ill: A trip to the seashore, consumption of alcohol, and travel to foreign countries. I have to say, all of these sound a lot more pleasant than painkillers and lots of rest.