Friday, April 29, 2005
  i love my little apartment :)
i spent a couple of days there this week and, i must say, i really dig the living-alone thing. no offense to ed or the cats, of course.

i haven't brought my kitten over for a slumber party yet, so for now it's just me and the tortoise.

most of my activities when i'm at the apartment involve:

- watering my plants... and these are just the kitchen plants. i also have a peace lily, a gardenia, gerber daisies, a near-dead aloe, begonias, dahlias, and three catnip plants of varied scary sizes. catnip is about the cutest plant there is, i think.

- trying to find something decent to watch on my no-cable-havin' tv. i get, like, four channels. i feel like i'm in frickin' england. but, hey, thank god for friends. :)

usually i am then left with my book. currently reading:
nickel and dimed - just got this last night.
the empty ocean - i hate people. fucking awesome book, though.
fire in the turtle house - sadness! but i'm almost done
among whales - i really like this book, but it's a loaner from a friend and i don't want to scuff it up, so i'm limited to house reading this. no boat reading or in-line-at-the-bank reading.

meanwhile, the tortoise is typically crawling around someplace by my feet.

here she's on the plate where i feed her. the plate has a HUGE incline that she spent whole minutes trying to walk up. slip, slip, slip.

so i took pity on her and liberated her from the melamine jail...

only for her to get outsmarted by table legs. she did this for, like, three minutes - walk, walk, walk - while i giggled and took pictures. then i turned her around and she walked under my blanket instead.

what a nice, quiet life. :)
Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Dad, sleeping. Late-80s-ish., originally uploaded by estacey.

I love pictures. For example, I don't have so many pictures of my dad. But the ones I do have bring back a flood of memories.

This picture, for example, was taken when we lived on Greenhill Drive. A lot of my childhood was spent at the house on Greenhill Drive. That's where I fought with my friend, Serafine, over whose cousin was prettier. It's where my sister's friends would invade when my mom was away for the night and I'd take to a bedroom closet to avoid drunken teenagers playing baseball with grapes and rolls of wrapping paper. That's where I found out my mom smoked (her cigarettes were promptly ripped up and disposed of in the backyard) and that my parents were going to divorce. That sucked.

Anyway, back to the picture. I haven't seen any of this stuff in, what, 15 years? But I remember it all instantly - how it felt, what it looked like. I remember that lightweight blue pillow - it had a goose on it. And the burnt velvet couch, the one we had to cut a slit in the back of to get my sister's hamster.

And there's my dad sleeping. Arms folded over that big belly that made all the funny noises. Drew-Carey glasses. Omnipresent crewcut Dad washed with barsoap. And I can guarantee you that he's wearing brown workboots.

Dad would've been 66 today.

It's been more than seven years since he passed away now. The memory of Dad has now settled into a quiet hurt. The kind you will stop you and make you frown when it strikes you, but that you can move on from. Unless you choose to dive in it and swim around, like I'm doing now.

It hurts me that Dad doesn't know anything about me or my life now. It sucks that I can't tell him about diving or hear him laugh at my tortoise - and trust me, he would. That I can't shower him with Clive Cussler books - from the new bookstore - and Snickers bars. That I won't get to talk to him ever again.

I did have him for two decades and for that I am grateful. But hey, for those of you who still have a Dad to call and visit - don't ever stop being grateful.

Okay, sorry to be a bummer. Frivolous pictures and reading to resume...

Tuesday, April 26, 2005
  Look at how ridiculously small this thing is.

Funny tortoise, originally uploaded by estacey.

She's so cute!

  Jesus, this is awesome.
Octopus Camouflages Itself

  Photo for scale

Rosie the Redfoot, originally uploaded by estacey.

This is Rosie & her daddy.

  Rosie the Redfoot

Rosie the Redfoot, originally uploaded by estacey.

So this is what my tortoise will look like eventually, with any luck. This is Rosie, the tortoise of the people who watched my little hockey puck over the weekend. They have a really nice habitat for her and she's friggin' huge! I can't wait 'til little puck grows up and is a huge, lumbering tortoise trudging around my yard.

Monday, April 25, 2005
  Penguins could be terrorists, too - Slideshow

Well, I guess if they can be homosexuals... (They gave them a fertile egg! OMG!)

Thanks for the link, Eddie. Very cute.
  great weekend, again!
this weekend, we went sailing on our friends' dan & tracey's boat, the wind pirate.

our excuse for going was the miami-key largo race on saturday.

the race was, at times, very peaceful. funny, huh? so i had lots of time to take pictures...
  of our captain, waiting for that wind to pick up

  of other boaters, some of whom were fairly unattractive

Dog protecting his boat, originally uploaded by estacey.

  of people killing fish

  and others killing time

  of reflections

  of the sails

Sails, sky, originally uploaded by estacey.

  of other boats

Lovely day on the water, originally uploaded by estacey.

  of instruments

Compass, originally uploaded by estacey.

  of ed

Ed on the boat, originally uploaded by estacey.

  of rope

Water, ropes, originally uploaded by estacey.

  of more rope

Ropes, water, etc, originally uploaded by estacey.

  and of the water

Stacey and boat, watercolor, originally uploaded by estacey.

this weekend, i had my first cosmopolitan.

i got to sleep with a night view of a gently rocking miami skyline.

i was surprised mid-sentence by a surfacing dolphin,
and spotted a really, really big sea turtle.

i got to share the nightmare of the tack with cyndi.
who had her first experience of scaling up the deck of a vertically-tilting boat.

and spend three lovely, (mostly) calm & very blue days on the water.

lucky me :)

may i mention again how much i love florida?

Friday, April 22, 2005
  This is so damn sad.
Yahoo! News - 6 Wild Horses Sold by U.S. End Up at a Slaughterhouse

To an autonomous life in the wild to death in a slaughterhouse.
That's about the saddest thing I can imagine.
  going away for the weekend
we're going on dan & tracey's boat to key largo this weekend.

the tortoise is being watched by the wife of one of ed's co-workers WHO HAS A REDFOOT ALREADY. when i dropped puck(?) off last night, i got to meet her. both the wife and the redfoot, heidi and rosebud. they've had rosebud for three years now and she's quite big. she has an awesome setup outside and can trudge around the yard whenever she wants to.

the cooter is being left with her fish friends, some carrots, some pellets, and some lettuce. and a timer. it's only 'til sunday, but i feel bad. maybe she'll appreciate me not interrupting her cooter business (hehe) every half-hour to check on her.

the cats are being left with extra bowls of food and water. it kills me to leave my kitten and suki for a weekend. lucy i don't feel so bad about because she's much more independent. more like i'm lucy's adoring friend than her mama.

i'm in a horrendous mood, but hopefully being outside on this lovely day will improve that.
  Kelli would so kill me if she knew this was up

Sexy pregnant Kelli belly, originally uploaded by estacey.

lol.. this has 91 views already on flickr. highest of any of my pics and i just posted it yesterday.

i don't think i really want to know why so many people are looking at pics of a pregnant chick's belly.

Thursday, April 21, 2005
  everglades, b&w

At the Everglades, originally uploaded by estacey.

my old, brick-like 3.1 mp camera took OK pics, didn't it?


Stacey's Linguistic Profile:

75% General American English

20% Upper Midwestern

5% Yankee

0% Dixie

0% Midwestern

What Kind of American English Do You Speak?
Que interesante! I guess moving to Florida and beginning to call pop "soda" instead because I was tired of people making fun of me did something.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005

orange1, originally uploaded by Matt&Maria.

well, you know what i'm going to say here. and no, not a squitten.

  new foster turtle
he came home from spanish class with me last night.
the enclosure i bought for him is at my house but i went to eddie's so had to improvise a bit. lucky for me - and the turtle - i just bought my tortoise a new enclosure which had freed up his old one.

this is the turtle. she's terribly cute - look at those nostrils! :)

this is the "turtle lagoon" this little turtle has been living in for the past two years. the water was just deep enough to cover the small pebbles at the bottom.. maybe a half inch or an inch deep? in a (cold!) air-conditioned townhouse with no hope of basking. there was another turtle friend who made a break for it last week, so just one foster turtle now, but i hope the other one is happy! he was the one with the deforming shell.. :(

this is the turtle swimming in its new home. the water is fairly shallow now, but deep enough to chase fishies in. he also has a basking light, which the tortoise selflessly loaned to the turtle until i can buy a second tonight. as she gets stronger, i'll add more water. then she graduates to the BIG tank, at my house.

here is another close-up view of the turtle.

it's been a long time since i've had a cute little turtle. i'm enjoying it and ed likes her a lot too. and now we get to start training her for life in the wild! how exciting!
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
  two small rants

They are brilliant! Four way stops are awesome! WHEN PEOPLE USE THEM RIGHT. I'm living in the heartland of the four-way stop right now and it's driving me CRAZY - people try to be "polite" and pull up, then wait three seconds until I pull up, and then look at me, either confused or motioning for me to go. OHMYGOD - YOU GOT THERE FIRST! GO! WE BOTH WOULD'VE BEEN ON OUR WAY BY NOW.


The wife of a co-worker came in today. She's of a certain nationality I've heard has a very rude reputation. AND SHE LIVED UP TO IT.

I stood up at my desk to shake her hand, reaching mine out to hers. Nothing from her. NOTHING. She went to the bathroom, I went to the kitchen, and when I came back, she was ON MY COMPUTER. "I'm going to borrow this for a minute." "Uh, okay." And THEN! She was talking to my boss in the office and I came in. My boss, the friendly fellow he is, asked, "You've met Stacey, haven't you?" I started a forced, friendly, "Yes, we have," when she just started talking to him again. Like I was INVISIBLE.

I have never, ever met anyone in my entire life that was this rude. Rude isn't even the word. For the whole five minutes she was here, I was walking around with my eyes bugged out. "Do you believe this?!" Whaa.

*Equilibrium restored.* :)
Monday, April 18, 2005
  so which one am i?

This is how Hiaasen describes Florida: "The Sunshine State is a paradise of scandals teeming with drifters, deadbeats, and misfits drawn here by some dark primordial calling like demented trout."


oh, my new neighborhood is so cool.

today i took advantage of the fact that my bosses aren't here to go for a nice lunchtime run (and post-run shower) without worrying if i were a little late coming back. again, i want to stress how much i love living close to the job - i was home, had made a sandwich, and was watering my plants within 8 minutes of leaving the office.

so then i took off on a little run to check out my neighborhood. what i like about hollywood is that it's a real neighborhood. don't get me wrong - i've liked the other places i've lived and stayed down here. for example, the condo or ed's place. but they're in very controlled environments, mastered by the homeowner's/condo association. while this prevents people from, say, leaving a junked car in the front yard, it also takes out the possibility for much character. where i'm living now is different. we have our share of junky-looking places, but also some houses you have to stop and look at. a place with shells and plants and nautical things everywhere outside. a house with a HUGE front yard and a tree so big it shades the whole thing. stray cats lounging around by dumpsters (obviously, it's not all quaint & happy).

then i got down to young circle, where i was lucky enough to witness the dismantling of what must've been a fun little festival yesterday. today it was men moving porta-potties. but i got to see the baobab trees! i think there are five or so in the circle. they're totally out of place and totally cool.

baobab tree.

then i ran down one of the streets and went by a dozen restaurants and pubs and some cool little shops too. apparently i can take belly dancing classes at the goddess store.. or just buy the cute little lotus candle holders i saw in the window.

so i had a good little half-hour run, which is equivalent to a 7 or so hour run if you take into account the 80-degree air and 11,000-degree sun. just approximately, of course.

i really gotta start doing some exercising and watching what i eat - no more rocky road dinners. unless i gained 5 lbs of muscle from last week's 5k alone, i have something to worry about. and if i go to the bahamas in july, i want to be (closer to) fit! so we'll see how that goes. i may keep updates here so i don't go being a shit and eating badly.. without witnesses.


Sunday, April 17, 2005
this weekend was pretty nice.

friday night: got myself some nice free pots and pans from a nice guy named joe on craiglist.

saturday morning: dragged myself out of bed to go do a shift for the national save the sea turtle foundation at their oceanfest booth. while i'm on that subject, you can join the foundation for only $20 and get a $12 visor for free! go join! or sponsor a turtle nest!

when i finished "working", ed met me to check the 'fest out. byron was supposed to meet us but went to the wrong location, etc. so we walked around by ourselves. i got some nice little free scuba magazines, stickers, postcards, and bought some ADORABLE SEA TURTLE EARRINGS (see upper right) and a necklace. then ed bought me a a guy harvey print of sea turtles - thank you, baby!!!

we also met this awesome artist named patrick chevallier, a crazy little frenchman, whose stuff i had admired in world watersports but is way too expensive for me. someday, though, i will get a grouper or a sea turtle or something. admire for free - his website.

patrick chevallier grouper

my new turty print.
now i have to learn which is which!

then we met up with his friend ted from russia by way of new york.

ted used to work with ed when ed lived in nyc. apparently ted wasn't legal at the time. so to be able to pay him, ed's company expensed ted as furniture. TED WAS FURNITURE.

i had too many drinks with ted and his russian doll of a girlfriend and then went home to lay on the couch and whimper for the rest of the day about my beer- & margarita-induced headache. and had ice cream for dinner.

today we went to shark valley with ernie & cyndi. I OF COURSE LEFT MY CAMERA BATTERY AT WORK. but it was my first time at that part of the everglades and completley awesome.

the trail.

we saw roughtly 768,007 alligators, bunches of turtles, and lots of birds and their goony baby birds. it was a 15-mile bike ride and hella windy on the way back, so we were pretty winded by th etime we got back to the car (ha ha) but it was GREAT.

poor softshell turtles are just so ugly.

the lookout tower was AWESOME. we could see the gators and the birds and huge turtles swimming everywhere.

this is the observation tower.

a highlight was when we saw a baby alligator on one side of the trail. i got off my bike and ooh'd and ahh'd at it for a few minutes, then ed pointed to the other side of the trail, where lay a mama alligator and her ten or so babies. that one i didn't get so close to, but it was absolutely awesome.

baby alligator!

now i'm home and totally pooped.

Friday, April 15, 2005
  liberation of turtymonster
i got this little turtle, like, six years ago. he was tiny, tiny. egg tooth and all.

i got him a pretty nice little setup.

and fish to eat.

he grew to be pretty big. i think his paws now are bigger than he was altogether when i got him.

from this:

to this:

and this was even a couple of years ago, so he probably has grown since.

i loved him a lot. you know, for a grumpy turtle.

ed has a lake thing by his house. turtles live in it. sometimes i'd see the turtles basking happily and feel bad for the turtle, who lived inside in a 55-gallon tank. he loved to fish, he loved to bask.. wouldn't he be happier outside? the thought plagued me for weeks. while going to the store one bright, sunny day, i passed the little lake and smiled at the happy basking turtles. then i did a u-turn and went to get my turtle so i could let him go. ed and i giggled at the turtle when we saw him realize, while sitting in my hand, that he was free to go. then he swamswamswamp, stopping to investigate, oh, sticks and stuff.

so now this is where he lives.

now he can bask with the anhingas. knowing him, he probably tries to eat them.

it's been a couple of weeks. i've seen him out there a few times now, basking with the other ones. the first time i saw him, i ran home to get ed to come look with me. it about made me cry.

i got pics the other day, but they turned out not so great. i probably won't see him again, camera in hand, for at least a week. so take this. looks like a pic of the loch ness monster, doesn't it?

i know you shouldn't release animals into the wild, but i researched online and didn't see anything bad about sliders in florida. i've seen them around. and while they're not native to here - i think they're only native south to georgia or something - i didn't find anything that they were hurting our ecosystem. australia, yes. florida, no.

and i had no doubt he'd survive. he catches fish like a mofo.

so i don't recommend you go out and buy a baby turtle and raise to to adulthood and let it go, but turty is a special case. i'm so much happier with him out in the lake, knowing that he's so much happier too. :)
Yahoo! News - AFP Top Photos

these things are pretty ridiculous looking, huh?

  this INFURIATES me
Mainichi Interactive - Top News

let's kill 120 whales for "science"
Thursday, April 14, 2005
  first 5k tonight
so this evening, i ran the corporate, uh, run. 5k, 3.1 miles.

i had been intending to do some training for this - i can't tell you the last time i ran 3 miles, although i do know i've changed residences three times in the interim. and while i didn't want to embarass myself or anything, the weeks went by and i didn't do so much, trainingwise. not wanting to cop out, i decided to go anyway. i finished in 33:20. not so bad! i mean, as the LEAST ATHLETICALLY GIFTED PERSON ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET, i am just happy i managed to run the whole thing (mostly) and actually finish BEFORE OTHER, ACTUAL PEOPLE.

really, i don't have a competitive bone in my body -- it's been pulverized to dust over past 27 years. i don't even bother to bid on eBay these days; i'm not going to win anyway. but i do like to avoid embarassing myself if possible. so i'm glad i'm not embarassed... unless, of course, you consider ed's finishing time: 23:12. yes, over 10 full minutes faster than me. (yes, he rocks. :)

this is me going towards the finishing line.

in any case, it was a good time. we got to see dan & tracey as well as friends matt and steve. i should've introduced those two, come to think of it.

good news - my two-day headache is FINALLY GONE. turns out i just needed to ice my head a little. old movies are good for something.
  baby octopus
Yahoo! News - Top Stories Photos - AP

ok, that thing is ridiculous! :D

Wednesday, April 13, 2005
i opened a flickr account right after beth told me about it. i used it to share pics and stuff but never added tags or anything. but i really, really enjoy looking at pictures there - picking a tag and reviewing pages and pages in that category of pics. so today i went through and added tags to a lot of pictures and even uploaded some older ones.

they can be found at

it's really quite cool. i managed to look at every last "turtle" picture yesterday throughout the day. found a couple of gems, too.

for example, bob the inside turtle, who CAME WITH THE HOUSE. it's a tortoise that just lives in the back yard! how cool is that?

or how about hope and squirtle?

and now my favorite. it's a grown-up version of my little tortoise, under a bed, just found in some person's hotel room. brazil! ahh, wanna go!

alright, now it's time to go home and try to lay on my itty-bitty loveseat and wish this headache away.
I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


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Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

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