Wednesday, February 28, 2007
  FW: Daily Grist: London aims for greenest-city status, and more

This is depressing (see: whales, elephants).


From: Grist []
Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2007 1:43 PM
Subject: Daily Grist: London aims for greenest-city status, and more


GristDaily Grist


Wednesday, 28 Feb 2007

Victim or Hog?
Still basking in Oscar's glow, Al Gore makes headlines for using a lotta energy. An inconvenient truth or an ugly smear campaign? Readers react in Gristmill.

Yes We Ken
London mayor unveils comprehensive climate-change plan

London Mayor Ken Livingstone unveiled a Climate Change Action Plan yesterday in hopes of making the English capital the greenest city in the world. Under the scheme, London will switch 25 percent of its power supply to local generation, and businesses that invest in green technology will earn merit badges, Scout-style. The U.K. plans to cut carbon emissions 60 percent by 2050, but London's leaders hope to achieve that goal within 20 years, and are setting aside $92.3 million in next year's budget to do so. "This will make London the first city in the world to have a really comprehensive plan to cut its carbon emissions," says the mayor's climate-change adviser. Livingstone also appealed to the 7.5 million common folk, urging energy efficiency and introducing such cutting-edge ideas as discounts on insulation. "Londoners don't have to reduce their quality of life to tackle climate change," said the mayor, "but we do need to change the way we live." Always with the crazy talk, that one.

straight to the source: BBC News, 27 Feb 2007

straight to the source: Reuters, Jeremy Lovell, 27 Feb 2007

straight to the source: Yahoo! News, Agence France-Presse, 27 Feb 2007

Nisshin Accomplished
Burned out of business, Japan calls a halt to its annual whale hunt

Japan's whaling fleet, unable to recover from a mid-February fire that killed a crew member and disabled its main ship, has called off its controversial annual hunt a month early. While protesters expressed sympathy for the human loss, they also did a dance of joy that "no more Southern Ocean whales will die from grenade-tipped harpoons this season." Observers had also feared that the floundering 8,000-ton Nisshin Maru would cause an oil leak off Antarctica, and the government of nearby New Zealand had asked Japan to haul ass outta there. The whalers declined an offer from Greenpeace to tow the ship, managing to restart it this weekend. Since undertaking the hunt in November, the fleet had killed 508 whales -- about 350 shy of its goal. "We have been research whaling for 20 years, but this is the first time we have had to cut the expedition short," said a Fisheries Agency official. "It is very unfortunate." Happily (for the fleet, not so much the whales), there's always next year.

straight to the source: Bloomberg News Service, Stuart Biggs, 28 Feb 2007

straight to the source: The Washington Post, Reuters, Isabel Reynolds, 28 Feb 2007

straight to the source: BBC News, 28 Feb 2007



Blowing It
Umbra on insulation, again

Photo: iStockphotoYou may remember advice maven Umbra Fisk's last column on insulation -- the one she wrote when she was ill, and her head felt filled with fiberglass. Well, we're not in the habit of offering excuses, but that could explain why she overlooked this key detail: it is possible, as some loyal readers pointed out, to blow in insulation yourself. Armed with this knowledge and eager to right her wrongs, Umbra revisits the question of keeping your house warm the DIY way.

bulletsnew in Ask Umbra: Blowing It

You Can Poach an Egg, But You Shouldn't Poach an Elephant
Elephants massacred as ivory trade picks up

As many as 23,000 elephants may have been killed in just one year, as an international effort to stem the ivory trade has fallen to the wayside, particularly in Africa. Increased demand for white tuskiness in Japan and China, combined with declining funding for anti-poaching programs, has overwhelmed the intentions of a 1989 ban on international sales of ivory. In the year ending in August 2006, 54,000 pounds of ivory were confiscated in 12 international seizures -- and customs officials assume that they find only 10 percent of the smuggled goods. "Right now, things are really much worse than before the ban," says Samuel Wasser, lead author of a recent study on using DNA testing to determine where poached elephants were killed. With the advent of the new technology, an aggressive resuscitation of anti-poaching programs could be very effective, but there's no time to waste. Says Wasser, "[I]f we don't open our eyes to the problem, we can kiss our elephants goodbye." Get your stepladders ready.

straight to the source: The Washington Post, Marc Kaufman, 27 Feb 2007

straight to the source:, LiveScience, Robin Lloyd, 26 Feb 2007

Group Hug
Leading tech competitors bury the hatchet to improve energy efficiency

Hold onto your geek hat: 11 leading tech companies have partnered to reduce the energy used by servers and data centers. The Green Grid -- made up of foes including Intel, IBM, Microsoft, AMD, Sun Microsystems, and Hewlett-Packard -- thinks data-center efficiency "is the most significant issue facing technology providers and their customers today," and plans to whip up new energy standards and technologies. A study released this month by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab estimates that servers ate 1.2 percent of U.S. energy in 2005, and their power use doubled from 2000 to 2005. "What each of the companies [has] realized is that these issues of efficiencies can't be dealt with in the usual competitive approach that pervades the industry,'' says the lab's Jonathan Koomey. "They really need to figure out a way on certain issues to cooperate.'' Said Sun's sustainable computing director, putting Mr. Rogers fuzziness aside: "Green is green, conservation and efficiency equal profits in every case."

straight to the source: The Mercury News, Sarah Jane Tribble, 27 Feb 2007

straight to the source: The Arizona Republic, Bloomberg News Service, 27 Feb 2007

straight to the source: Red Herring, Adena DeMonte, 26 Feb 2007


Swedening the Pot, by David Roberts. An interview with IKEA sustainability director Thomas Bergmark.

Hi, Tech, by Bill McKibben in Dispatches. Who needs newspapers when the web can do the job?

Boots Camp. Send a question to InterActivist Michael Boots, director of the Seafood Choices Alliance.




Check out the Weekly Grist podcast, one more fabulous way to enjoy the week's top environmental news! Listen or subscribe.



Conservative conservationists? There's a coalition waiting.

Nuclear power is not rational or forward-thinking, even if you say so over and over again. Sigh.

Hillary's new energy bill. Decent.



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  time for bed yet?

lo odio, originally uploaded by estacey.

yes, yes it is.

i finished getting to know the math i will be tested on tomorrow. i didn't say i done learnt it all, but i got to know it a little better. it's very frustrating.. it seems sometimes i can't even understand the BOOK; instead, i find a problem, look up the answer, and sit and try to figure out how the hell one would get from Point A to Point B. it's a slow go.

i should stay up and work on it some more, but after three hours, i have a "mushy head" (hi, chris). sleep it is!

nothing going on here. just math and a strong desire to sleep in tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Jenny: Chuck's cat, originally uploaded by Malingering.

one of my favorite contact's pictures.

would oreo have gotten like this eventually, had we left her at the petsmart?

  my ellie so cute

poor camera cord, originally uploaded by estacey.

  having an "eye"

whodoesthis, originally uploaded by Exaussie.

having an eye

it's funny how we develop an eye for things according to what's going on in our lives.

i've been taking a lot of pictures lately, so i'm starting to look at a lot of things as potential photographs. does the red lettering of the word "hotel" match up with the lights on the building behind it? would the light from this streetlight coming through the trees make a good night photo?

but the funnier example is about my tortoises. ever since i got a tortoise, i have started to view all foliage as potential tortoise food. seriously. whereas before i may have been at a stop light in a sketchy neighborhood and wrinkled my nose at the overgrown weeds on the side of the road, nowadays i scan the leaves and weeds for something my tortoise would like to eat. i do this ALL THE TIME - while i'm jogging, while i'm driving.. hell, i even spotted some good cactuses from the boat once and jogged over later to check them out.

random thought. :) anyone here find themselves doing something like this?

Sunday, February 25, 2007
  weekend report
pretty low-key weekend 'round here.

friday night: created speech, had cereal for dinner at 12:30 a.m. fell asleep with oreo cuddled under my arm. the night before, sebastian slept with me. so it turns out that big bed wasn't so lonely after all.

saturday: woke up at 9:30 to practice speech. went to speech. felt very relieved to have it over with. and it turns out i earned a perfect score! ha ha ha! then i took lots of pictures.

playin' with the settings

then chris was back. he made pasta. began to watch the graduate for film class. fell asleep halfway through.

sunday: woke up at 10:30 (ahhhhhhhh). realized i had another dream - my second - involving me finding pets i had forgotten i had. this time, it was a turtle. i forgot it in an aquarium outside during the winter. thankfully, it was still alive.

this reinforces that i need to do something about my cats at my house; it's an idea weighing on my subconscious. chris said i could bring them here. that idea makes me nervous - how will they adjust? will oreo be mean? will they cope with not getting to sleep in a bed? but i don't really know any alternatives, aside from staying at home more. and, really, in order to spend more time with the cats, that would mean going home on the weekends. for the sole reason of spending time with the cats. and, knowing them, they'd be outside anyway. they're not dogs; they are not going to come in for me. so, yeah, it's a tough one. and the only way to solve this problem, i think, is to heed chris's advice, and bring them over here.

then it's time to come up with a living situation i'd be happy with. i don't spend much where i'm at, but i also don't use it. and once the cats aren't there? it'd be smarter to spend just a little more and get a place closeby - close to work, close to chris's. all i could afford is a little studio or something, but it may make more sense. i fear the idea of a studio, but reality is that i don't leave my room much at my place anyway; a studio may even offer more living space than i have there! i dunno; it's something to think about. but damn, it sucks - all the decent places seem to hover around $800-900. and i cannot even begin to think of spending more than $100 or so more than i spend now. it would just be dumb, considering all it is for me is a place to sleep a few nights a week, a place to keep my books.

anyway, then what did i do? my chris made french toast for breakfast. french toast is quickly becoming a food group for me. i made a mental note to make sure to make it for him next sunday. then i fell asleep on the front room couch with oreo on one side of me and my head on sebastian's belly on the other. when i woke up, still feeling heavy, i wondered what the fuck is wrong with and why can't i seem to wake up sometimes? then i watched the rest of the graduate - which i liked. chris fell asleep by my side, and that was nice. sometimes i get to thinking about stuff too much, and worrying about stuff too much, and then i get a dose of quality time and fell all better. and that's good stuff.

when the movie was over, i got up and all of a sudden felt refreshed and like myself again! for the first time in, what, a week? then, for the first time in a good three weeks, i wanted to go for a jog. so i sang as i got dressed, sang as i found shoes, sang as i shook sand out of shoes, found socks, braided hair, put on hat, put sebastian on leash, drank lots of water... and opened the door to this:

sunny & raining

"nuh UH." after all, from inside, it looked sunny!

i took some pictures to pass the time.

sunny but raining a little

when it slowed a little, i decided we would go anyhow.

patty was coming home from trying to jog with hecubus, unsuccessfully. the little dogs is crazy.

patty & hecubus

the sun.. um, sat. setted. set. whatever.

sunset in the 'hood

we stopped and chatted with this fella and his dog. then sebastian got scared of the dog and that was the end of that. i like how this picture looks mostly black and white. or desaturated of color, at least.

we went to run on the beach, but the damn jellyfish were everywhere.

the beach was covered in these

doesn't bother me, but poor sebastian has stepped on them before.

so we just ran in the soft part of the sand for a while, then back on the street.

happiness on a leash

we got rained on some more. i came home and did homework. yada, yada, yada, the weekend is over and it's time for bed!
  i can't believe that's oreo!

Oreo at PetsMart, originally uploaded by estacey.

seeng how tiny she was in this picture just blows my mind; it's amazing what a little beachball she turned into during just two months at the petsmart. she's lost some weight now, but is still affectionately referred to as "my chunky girl." unrelated, but i also call her "orzo" regularly.

it's like i have some split personality in charge of making up dumb names for my animals - hence "fluffernutter" for fluffy and "kit-kat" for kitten. "ellie-ellie" and "ellie cat." "butters" and "buddance" for buddy.. obviously "buddance" would be when i am trying to be formal with him. :D


sunset in the 'hood, originally uploaded by estacey.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

playing with dof, originally uploaded by estacey.

playin' with the A and S modes is fun. i would take pics of my feet, stepping down the f-stop one by one and, what, what a difference.

  I bet she says this to all her students.
I started my speech last night. That I gave today.
Sadly, that's the way I have to do things that I am not looking forward to.

Our speech class was meeting in halves today - we should've had about 12 kids. Yeah, we had four. That made things a bit easier and less nerve-wracking; on our 4-6 minute speech, I talked for nearly 10 minutes. Going long really is not a good thing.

Still, this is the email I got from our cheerleader-like teacher:

You did an AWESOME job on your speech today!

The movie that proves it can be accessed at this address:

To view the movie, copy and paste this address into an internet browser, click go, then sit back and enjoy! After you watch your movie, complete your self-evaluation according to the guidelines on the assignment sheet, and you're done!

With your permission, I'd like to use your movie as a sample speech in future classes. It was really very well-done!

Relax this weekend! You've earned the right!

I can't even watch the movie of the speech because I can't get past how bad I look (and why didn't I check this in the mirror before I left) but whatever... I'm happy it's done with. You know I started and paid for this class a good two years ago and WITHDREW THE DAY BEFORE OUR FIRST SPEECH. So I'm glad I at least went this time!

I tried to access the speech of a girl in my class but it's not working. She's so darn cute, I'm tellin' ya. Very typical Hispanic girl, I think she's Colombian. Manicured & pedicured, big ol' rock from her husband, big curly dark hair, beautiful dark eyes, big boobs (well-displayed of course), big ol butt, and evenly distributed (thin) layer of fat that manages to look really good on her. And such an accent! "Strategy" was literally pronounced "ESS-strat-uh-zhee" - the whole E before the S thing always happens with accented folks (hence the eStacey) but she hers was.. yeah, more than a hint. I think I'm so amused by the latinas because I am, like, opposite. I just don't have the energy for all that.. and no matter; I got no boobs, no ass.. my fat is in all the wrong places.. And, well, I can say "strategy" like a motherfucker. I guess there are bright sides.

We were done early since no one showed, so I did some phototherapy. Pics at Flickr.
Friday, February 23, 2007
i just read that all these coats and vests in the states that are labeled "fake fur" are actually dog fur. dog. fur. or raccoon dog fur.

for real, how can anyone do this to a living being? skinned alive.. i don't know if there's a worse way to go. :(
  nice face!

effin' great picture, originally uploaded by estacey.

i was testing to see if my new knockoff d70 remote actually worked (purchased from eBay for $10, inc. shipping - came from hong kong). i pressed the button. it made a noise. i went, "hmmmm.. is it going to work? not too shabby!" which is all conveyed by the face i am making here. when the shutter clicked. ha! :)

  love the migraines
today i got a mega bad headache.

i ran to walgreens for some of the stuff you rub on your head. "what's it called?" i kept wondering. and kept coming up with "handi off."

remember that snl skit?

but it's actually called head on.

it didn't make my headache go away, but it certainly feels better while it's cool. i wish i were at home with an icepack on my head but, ya know, you can't always get what you want. this is a good alternative.
  oh great - yet another reason to diet
new airport scanners that can see through clothes
Thursday, February 22, 2007
  thursday already?
agh. this has got to be quick - i got home after 9, and so much to do...!

1. cats. yep, still keeping up with this. dot-nose got a home! did i already announce that? anyway, he did. that's good. but these other cats.. there's this black cat marty. he keeps getting sick. he gets better, they bring him back to petsmart, he gets sick again. i can't let him out to play, no one is going to adopt a sick cat.. but he's just the sweetest thing. he deserves a home. he stands and cries for me to pet him. bats at me as i walk by to get my attention. the poor thing.. and his cage is right under the a/c vent, so no wonder he's sick again! blargh.

chris keeps telling me i should quit doing the cat thing, that i'm stretching myself too thin. fair enough - i just about lost it yesterday because i had to go 10 minutes out of my way for what turned out to be nothing, and JESUS, I DO NOT HAVE 10 MINUTES TO SPARE, especially on a wednesday. and that's kinda scary. at the same time, i feel like i'm really doing something good, and i love to see cats coming around (a formerly feral cat tonight totally made out with my forearm) and getting homes and all that. i dunno. it's probably a good idea, but i am not ready to throw in the towel yet and say i don't have enough time.

kinda funny, a group of, like, 13-year-olds were in the store, at the cat window when i got there. they were going on about how the one cat was sick and we should help him and why didn't we do something about it. you know, being rude for each other's benefit? and then the one boy of the group really started in: "that cat is really sick," he said, his voice heavy with attitude. "why don't you do something about it? take it to the vet!" and then the girls started in, seeing who could mouth off to this adult the worst. i was totally annoyed. but he was a kid, so i stayed calm while explaining: "well, that cat was fine before, but then he came back here and had to be in this small room with all the other cats and they all end up getting sick and sadly we do not have a full-time person whose job is to do nothing but cart the cats back and forth from the shelter so he will have to wait until saturday, when someone can come get him. okay?" the kid was just like, [meep!] "okay." damn straight. it's funny when kids think they're real cool and then you point out that they're not and they agree with you.

note to self: must get that one cat fixed. but when? damn.

2. math. math sucks, y'all. i have actually figured out that i am not that bad at it. after all, i've taught myself everything from the book so far. i can't get past the first sentence or so the teacher says, so i just use class to make lists or think about sloths. last night, though, i actually used class time to do homework (from two weeks ago). (hey, it's a start.) but yeah, i blew on the test. thankfully, i did alright on the last test, so my current test average is a C. however, i am not a chick used to getting Cs. oh well.

3. chris is out of town until saturday. this will be the, what, second friday ever that i haven't seen him since we met. he went to houston one weekend. oh, and i think i got sick once. but other than that... i'm staying at his house tonight anyhow; the dogs need company. it will be weird to sleep in that big bed alone tonight.

i have to laugh, because i realize chris is such a good influence on me. proof? i go to bed at a decent time when i stay here. usually. before midnight, surely. sometimes in the 10's even. at my house? try 1. and when i stay here, he almost always makes dinner. and what did i have tonight? a banana and the better part of a cupcake. like an 8-year-old left home alone, i'm tellin' ya.

4. formerly feral cat, as referenced above. tonight when he let me rub his belly, even though he basically goes into shock if you pick him up, i smiled and thought how it was great he was discovering the good human hands can do. all that chin-scratchin' and belly-rubbin'. and i thought of a quote i saw the other day, about how humans are such goodness and such evil, at the same time, and how right on the money that is. about how nearly every day, i am completely appalled by what people do and, just as often, have tears come to my eyes from the goodness people unselfishly accomplish. random cat-duty thought for the day. i'm wonder if the divide between the good people and the shitty people will continue to widen, until one day we're separate species. because, really, i wonder sometimes how i can possibly be so closely related to people who wear fur.

5. kids, stay in school. the one complaint i have about working & going to school, besides the whole constant feeling that i'm behind (and that feeling gets old, trust me) is that i don't get to pursue anything i want to do, personally. i want to master that camera, but haven't gotten to touch it since saturday. there are books i want to read, that were not purchased at the campus bookstore. i want to get that cat fixed. i gotta polish up the dive skills. i gotta take swimming lessons again. i would like to practice my spanish. i feel bad for neglecting my cats, feel like i never have time to play with gretchen & buddy. i mean, we all know that work interferes with our pet projects enough, but school on top? it's frustrating. but, alas, it's what i gotta do. it's just unfortunate. thankfully, however, it isn't an infinite endeavor.

okay, i got stuff to do and some ZZZZZZs to catch.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
  so apparently my niece is a mini me

Amanda, all upset
Originally uploaded by estacey.

i was talking to kamille on the phone last night and she had to laugh at how she doesn't really need to miss me because, with amanda around, it feels like i never left.

for example: "she takes really, really long hot showers, and she sings the whole time."

"what's she like when she's having her period?" i asked. "awful," kamille said. "she sleeps and sleeps and sleeps and mopes around and says she feels like crying for no reason." i was like, omg, she is a little me!

to drive the point home, when i searched for pictures of amanda, i remembered when i took this one. it was after kelli's wedding. we were taking pictures and we told amanda that we wanted one of just the sisters, so could she go out of the shot? the poor kid didn't know how wedding pictures worked, so she heard that as, "we don't want you in the picture," and her little feelings were hurt and she cried and then we couldn't get her to come back for the rest of the pictures. very sensitive - yes, a little me. :)

call it a fault if you want - and yeah, it can feel like it sometimes, when i misinterpret something and get my feelings hurt over something i shouldn't have. but that just demands communication, which isn't such a bad thing. plus, chris made a good point - it means i treat other people sensitively, which i guess is true.

also, kamille says she is nerdy. am i nerdy? i guess so. :D

ALSO - this is cute.
i asked kamille if amanda was excited about coming down. "ja," she said. (i realized we say "ja" about every other word, like we're characters in fargo or something. like, "kyle is a handful." "ja?" "ja.") anyway, then kamille said, "about a month ago, i went upstairs and amanda was PACKING." amanda tried to say she was just packing away her summer clothes. "sure," kamille said. "in a SUITCASE?" ha ha! very cute!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007
  guess i'll have to change that thing above the "about me" thing up there in the right-hand corner...

The Volcano Rumbles, originally uploaded by Stuck in Customs.

so you know how i've wanted to go to costa rica for ever and ever? i planned on going this year, as soon as i got vacation time, but that's not until may. and may is not a good time to go to costa rica (rainy). i would've gone anyway, but chris said, "remember that weekend in key west?" you know, the one when we did nothing because it was raining? ah yes, key west. maybe i don't want to go to costa rica in the rainy season.

now, as a show-not-tell example of how wonderful my chris is, last night he asked if i would like to go to costa rica in december, as my christmas gift. you can imagine how long it took me to answer in the affirmative (immediately, in case you're slow).

this is very exciting - costa rica, dream destination. with chris, an ideal travel partner (have i ever mentioned how easy-going and patient he is?), and also my baby. :)

the guy who took the picture up top has a lot of amazing costa rica pictures. check 'em out.



  i really love this song

25.January.2007: All For Leyna
Originally uploaded by Hotel Yesterday.
and i love billy more every time i listen to it! only a good, good man could write these lyrics!

Some people stay far away from the door
If theres a chance of it opening up
They hear a voice in the hall outside
And hope that it just passes by

Some people live with the fear of a touch
And the anger of having been a fool
They will not listen to anyone
So nobody tells them a lie

I know youre only protecting yourself
I know youre thinking of somebody else
Someone who hurt you
But Im not above
Making up for the love
Youve been denying you could ever feel
Im not above doing anything
To restore your faith if I can
Some people see through the eyes of the old
Before they ever get a look at the young
Im only willing to hear you cry
Because I am an innocent man
I am an innocent man
Oh yes I am

Some people say they will never believe
Another promise they hear in the dark
Because they only remember too well
They heard somebody tell them before

Some people sleep all alone every night
Instead of taking a lover to bed
Some people find that its easier to hate
Than to wait anymore

I know you dont want to hear what I say
I know youre gonna keep turning away
But Ive been there and if I can survive
I can keep you alive
Im not above going through it again
Ive not above being cool for a while
If youre cruel to me Ill understand

Some people run from a possible fight
Some people figure they can never win
And although this is a fight I can lose
The accused is an innocent man
I am an innocent man
Oh yes I am
An innocent man

You know you only hurt yourself out of spite
I guess youd rather be a martyr tonight
Thats your decision
But Im not below
Anybody I know
If theres a chance of resurrecting a love
Im not above going back to the start
To find out where the heartache began

Some people hope for a miracle cure
Some people just accept the world as it is
But Im not willing to lay down and die
Because I am an innocent man

I am an innocent man
Oh yes I am
An innocent man
Monday, February 19, 2007
  webcam help requested

2 em 1, originally uploaded by Andre_Kju.

So, if we wanted to set up a webcam that we would be able to watch the puppers on, how does one go about that?

I did the whole Yahoo! Messenger webcam thing before, but I would like to see if we could somehow do a web-based webcam display.

I have tried to figure out online how to do this stuff, but everything is FTP yada yada and it makes no sense to ME. You know, how someone without a real website can go about setting up a web-based webcam display. Domains are cheap and all, but how does one go about getting.. uh.. server space? Or something? Or whatever it is you need?

Can anyone help?

Sunday, February 18, 2007
  i took these pics for work

cupcakes 082-1, originally uploaded by estacey.

i volunteered to do it.

of course, when you usually see food photography, it is something that was prepared to be photographed. these, i got at the store. and i couldn't find cupcake cups big enough to replace these "eyesore" ones. but ah well - i'm pretty happy considering the equipment i had to work with: my camera, these slightly beat-up cupcakes, and a big piece of white paper the art director was going to throw out.

i could probably improve it a bit with photoshop, if i had it (ahem), but i think this will work just fine for what we need to use it for. :)

tonight, i'm going to celebrate by... eating a cupcake!

(this is probably a good time to 'fess up that i have completely abandoned my workout plan for the past couple of weeks. first, the weather was bad, then the pms struck, then i got ultra busy. and now i have no excuse. so back to it this week! weather, please shape up!)

  pimp my camera

chris, caught off guard, originally uploaded by estacey.

that's exactly what i did with my tax refund this year. 50mm lens? check. lens filters? check. external flash? check. diffuser? check. old sinking feeling when i go look at my checking account blanace? check. ;)

but anyway, it's made a world of difference. i was really happy after i figured out why all my pics seemed covered in a grey film - slr makers often underexpose images so you don't lose any detail. fixing them is as simple as an autocorrect.

but my indoor pics always still seemed too dark, even after an autocorrect. so i looked into flashes. i wrote to bethy to ask her experience with them. then i acted impulsively and ordered the best value one i could find. then bethy wrote back - turns out she has the same one i ordered and she suggested i go for a really cheap flash and order a better one if i found i was using it. too late! but i'm actually glad i did it; i was really happy with most of the pics from last night, even though the lighting in the hoelschers' was really dark.

and this $120 50mm lens takes some awesome damn pictures. so i'm happy about that, too.

see this pic here? i like it. as i guess i like all pics of chris that he did not have the time to make a face for. :D can we take another moment to talk about how chris is just the best boy ever? he reminded me of it again today. the best, the best.

so yeah, i'm absolutely ecstatic about my camera and so looking forward to getting to play with it, assuming i have time someday. i had to re-thank chris for the gift the other night: "i know it's been two months since you gave it to me, but i have to say thank you again for the camera."

anyway, i just wish i would've had more time to play with the camera this weekend; i didn't. i'm working on some assignments i have to submit by midnight right now. yesterday, however, i spent a good hour photographing cupcakes. post to follow.

  we went to see the hoes & their new babies this weekend

matt hoooooe & baby, originally uploaded by estacey.

and omg are they cute.

i didn't realize they keep roughly the same schedule as CATS about this time, and that i would only get to see one of the twins awake, for about five minutes. but i did manage to get a couple of pictures, as you see here. they're really cute. really tiny. really.. even smaller than they look in pictures. funny - the one girl who adopted two of my kittens said that - "they look so much smaller than in the pictures!" i thought that at first glance at the twins.

anyway, look - a baby. :)
as you can tell by the creative naming of the pics, i forget which baby is which. i am pretty sure this is um.. nathan. but don't quote me on it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007
  and now it's almost over...

Some fine suggestions., originally uploaded by Rebecca June.

what a day!

i zonked out last night, in the midst of studying and covered in books. i woke up at about 2 a.m. to shut lights off, wash face, etc. and set my alarm for really early so i could get up and study more. ha ha ha. it's cute how i always have such good intentions, right?

but the test turned out to be a breeze. i won't get over a 90 on it, because there was a type of problem he seemed to pull out of his ass; i studied every damn paragraph of the chapters we were being tested on and i didn't see one type of question like that!

it was, like, 5x^2 -12x^7 + 2x^4 + 6x^ 3 / 4x^2. I didn't even know how to BEGIN that. So I kinda made up a way to solve it and hoped the teacher would give me credit for creativity. :) But anyway, I was pretty astonished - I went to class worried I would fail the test because I understood everything but couldn't seem to remember what equations went with what.. and, oh, come to think of it, I don't know if I got the f(x) stuff right, either, which would take me down to an 80. But I am not aiming for the stars in this class - I JUST WANT TO GET THROUGH IT. So anyway, I learned 5x more than I needed to for this test! In, uh, one night!

after class, i stopped at whole foods to get macaroni & cheese and some chocolate-covered strawberries. how's that for a valentine's dinner? it was 8:30 by the time i got here, and i was ready to collapse.

now it's 11:30. chris is asleep. i was falling asleep but then oreo started crying from outside so i figured i'd come sit with her on the couch; she's asleep at my side right now. she's an easy-to-please girl.

alright. time to snuggle up on the couch to give oreo her quality time before i go back to bed.

  happy valentine's day!

Ahh, February 14th again already?

You know, I was never one of those that felt sorry for myself on Valentine’s Day when I was single, but I guess it is nice to know you have someone special today, if only because you don’t feel left out and unloved when everyone around you is getting roses.

My Chris had flowers delivered to the house yesterday – a really pretty bouquet of roses and lilies, the inspiration for this picture. But we’re not “observing” the day until Friday, seeing as how I have a math test tonight and he has to give a presentation to 3,000 people at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow. I’m going over to his place after class, but I think it’ll be a more-or-less hi-how-are-you-are-you-ready-to-go-to-bed-now kind of night.

Honestly, Chris is so good to me – and we did just go to a concert Monday night – that I really wouldn’t be worried about getting to go out for dinner or anything. Then again, most places we go out to eat are either places we bike to in our lounging clothes and flip-flops or places to indulge my French toast fix. The Black Orchid Café will probably be a nice treat. Chris seems very excited about the Bananas Foster; it may even be worth having to put a shirt on that covers his armpits. :D Right now I am trying to decide if I should have the calves’ liver & bacon or the grilled ostrich.

A while back, I came to the conclusion that I was not going to find anyone.. not with any hint of bitterness, mind you. Just the realization that I should make sure I am happy alone because I didn’t see a relationship in the cards for me.

So after I met Chris, although everything felt very peaceful and natural, once in a while I had to actually kind of pinch myself – had I really done it? What did I do to have this luck, to find a wonderful person to make happy, that wants to make me happy too? It’s amazing to me that there is someone so full of kindness, patience, humor.. And in such a lovely package! :)

One thing I’ve always found very amusing about me and Chris is that I often go to sleep at night with a smile on my face – a full smile, in the dark. He can’t even see it, so it’s not for his benefit; it’s just genuine happiness. Sometimes it makes me laugh.

So anyway, that’s my gush for the day. I’m feeling a little gushier than normal today; we got into an argument last night. Maybe the second time ever we’ve had what I would describe as an argument. I needed to get home to feed the cats, but only made it as far as the driveway before I turned around and went back inside, where Chris met me at the door with a five-minute hug. And every bit of frustration was gone; instead, just apologies all around. And more hugs. And again I think – yes, this is the way things should be.

And again I remember how lucky it is that I watched the 40-Year-Old Virgin one night and got all bummed at the sappy ending and decided I didn’t really want to be single forever, so checked out Match and liked the cute doctor’s profile. And how lucky it is that he wrote me back! :)

Single people, don't hate me for this entry. Sometimes you just have to count your blessings - and we all have many of those. And someday, one of your blessings will be the person you get to go home to, too.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007
  Sing me a song...
So last night was Billy Joel.

Traffic down to Miami (American Airlines arena) royally sucked, and it was raining, but lucky for us, Billy started a bit late to account for conditions. :)

Walking to the American Airlines arena in the rain

This is Chris walking with the umbrella. We got to the steps of the arena when I realized I had forgotten the tickets in the car. So we had to walk back. Yes, I'm an ass. Chris has probably learned his lesson on trusting me with the important details when I'm rushed or, you know, me. (Chris, if you're reading this, you know I only do stupid things like that to test you, make sure you're a nice guy, etc. Like that time I got the Mercedes stuck on a concrete island in a parking lot. Just a test.)

But, we made it just in time. He started out with Angry Young Man.


It was awesome. After a couple of songs, he talked to us a little bit and said, "Hey there. I'm Billy's dad. I'm just getting you warmed up before he comes out..." Funny guy. Then he spoke a little bit to all the guys who were being dragged to the concert by their girlfriends. Heh.


We got some decent pictures.

At the piano

Halfway or so through the show, Billy grabbed a guitar and told us he was having a guy named Chainsaw come perform for us, a la American Idol. Chainsaw sang Highway to Hell while Billy played guitar. I am guessing this was to appease all the bored men, and it worked; my man (not a huge Billy fan) thought it was the best song of the night.

Scene I never thought I'd see at a Billy Joel concert

Plus, I got this wonderful capture. At a Billy Joel concert. :)

There were a fair amount of younger people, but mostly the crowd was much older than me. This is an example of the older end of the age scale.

Ages of concert attendees range ran the gamut

You know you're not at a heavy metal concert when... you see an old man & his plastic-covered umbrellas.

He sang An Innocent Man at the mic, a favorite of mine.. I think it was my favorite song of the night. He also sang Miami 2017, a nice surprise. I first heard that song soon after I moved here, so loved the Florida line.

When Billy left the stage, everyone took out their cell phones so their screens would glow and stomped around, demanding he came back. He sang Scenes from an Italian Restaurant (for his wife) and then Piano Man. It was pretty spectacular to hear those songs in person.


So he did an awesome job. I was surprised at how much he put into the concert, considering.. you know, he's older and rich and has been doing this forever. He didn't have to work that hard, but he did - and it was awesome. Chris even said that it was "surprisingly good."

I can't wait to introduce Chris to some of my other favorite songs (And So It Goes; Downeaster "Alexa"; I've Loved These Days; You're My Home; Goodnight Saigon) and re-playing some songs he's familiar with (Honesty; Summer, Highland Falls). And also getting myself familiar with some of his other songs, since it would seem I'm a really big fan of his ballads from the 70s; sure I'm missing out on some good non-hit songs. :)
Yesterday, I ran out for some magical kombucha tea at lunchtime and the dude outside the Nutrition Depot told me I look like Britney Spears.

I immediately ran back to my car, brushed my hair, looked in the mirror to confirm my eye makeup wasn't smeared, and checked to make sure the cooch was covered up.

Monday, February 12, 2007

sebastian's glamor shot in b&w, originally uploaded by estacey.


yay!, originally uploaded by estacey.


Thursday, February 08, 2007
  sorry so quiet

sad eyes, originally uploaded by monitorpop.

but i've been in a funk the past couple of days; a mood even cuteoverload can't fix. i look forward to being my usual self very soon.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007
  Does it come across at all that I'm losing my patience?
This girl's email to me (she adopted two of Mamacat I's kittens):
Hey you
Do you know anyone who can make a good home for graygoose and Johnny walker ? I have to find them a home my daughter is allergic to them….

Mine back to her:
No. We went through this before, when you had another, different reason to get rid of them.

I hope you can find them a good home as you made a commitment to them when you took them as kittens that you would care for them. Otherwise, while they were young and cute, they could have found homes much easier than they will now, as grown-up cats. I suggest you talk to friends and relatives.

You can contact rescue organizations as well; Animal Aid may take a cat from you WITH a donation. Which I expect that you would whole-heartedly give to them considering the circumstances; they are YOUR cats. Your responsibility. They trust that you will take care of them. Getting rid of them is going to be a sad change and upheaval to their lives, even if you find them a good home, so I expect you will do your best to do at least that much for them.

Fuckin' people. This is Thor & Scaredy Cat we're talking about.
  they must have missed me
the cats rolled out the red carpet for me this morning.

when i was blinking my way down the hall this morning to go feed 'em breakfast, i realized there was a pile of puke on the kitchen floor, just for me. "aw, you shouldn't have," i told them, and noted sadly that there was no paper towel.

on my way back down the hallway to get some tissues, there was a severed lizard head with the arm still attached.

such sweeties! i guess they were making up for having missed my birthday.
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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