Monday, October 29, 2007
  this weekend sucked, big time.

wailey!, originally uploaded by estacey.

Saturday I did a search for Wailey in the enclosure since he hadn’t been out that I had seen since before Thursday. This would not be odd behavior for Bjorn, but it was odd for Wailey. Usually, within three minutes of me putting a pile of food out, Wailey is munching away at it. Thursday before work he ignored the food… Now Saturday, same thing.

A search of the enclosure turned up nothing. I yelled for Chris to come help me, starting to panic a little. Chris couldn’t find him either.

He agreed with me that there was pretty much no way he got out of the enclosure on his own.

This means - someone took him. Maybe one of the landscaping guys came back after they did their landscaping gig… After all, they’re all Brazilian... Maybe Wailey reminds them of home. I dunno.

I can’t even go into how upset I am. Suffice it to say, I spent the rest of Saturday miserable crying, and have spent ever since miserable with the allergies that caused. I’m typing this with half-closed eyes.

I am going to put up a sign up saying to please bring Wailey back, that we miss him, and that we are heartsick worrying about him, in case the person who took him is someone who comes by regularly. I get sick to my stomach thinking about it.

I have hopes that whoever took him will realize a 12-lb tortoise isn’t the most fun of pets or very easy to care for – not to mention when he poops, whoa mama – and they’ll put him back. Let them have a kind heart that way!

In the meantime, Chris is making plans on how to enclose the front porch area with a locking fence. It’s a sad thing… But obviously our neighborhood isn’t safe enough, and not safe to leave Bjorn out and George when George goes running out in the enclosure, either.

Sad, sad, sad.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007
  water lily

water lily, originally uploaded by estacey.

So we didn’t go the Dry Tortugas.

#1. Kimmie and her girlfriend had to go to North Carolina.
#2. After doing the calculations, Chris became worried we wouldn’t have spare gas once we got back and forth, and that’s no good. It may be doable in the future, but we were not ready to do it last weekend.

We were going to go to the Marquesas, a set of islands between Key West and the Dry Tortugas, instead, but the weather was really not all that nice, so we were home instead.

Friday night it was Bubba Gump Shrimp Company down at Fort Lauderdale Beach. Chris’s Bulgarian friend George was in from out of town for a conference – he’s a doctor in Des Moines – so we went out to eat with him and Dean & Meredith. It was gooood. Thank god I eat shrimp.

George is hilarious because.. well, he sounds just like Borat. And he loves Borat, so he does Borat impressions. When he’s TRYING to do Borat, it’s uncanny. Crazy.

After dinner, George went back to his fancy-schmancy hotel room and we went out for one last drink. I had had my huge pomegranate margarita of the evening already, but Chris wasn’t drinking his cough-syrup-esque margarita at the place we were at.. He’s always complaining about the drinks being too weak, which pisses the bartenders off (playfully, of course) so THEY SHOW HIM. And make him a drink that makes you choke and cough every time you take a drink. Yeah, half a margarita and I was whoa-mama-tipsy.

Saturday morning, um.. what did we do? I don’t know. Then we went to the boat store, and the camera store. That’s very us. Chris bought me the nice 70-300 zoom lens, grumbling (playfully, of course) the whole time. “Is this worth it?” he asked the camera store guy. “Every penny,” he answered.

Saturday afternoon George helped Chris put the boat back in the water.. We were going to do it that morning, but Chris mentioned maybe George helping to do it. I said yes, yes, yes! I knew that George being a GUY and FROM UP NORTH, he would probably love to help.

So they did that. I took a bath.

The whole plan was to take the boat to Bahia Cabana for dinner, and Dean & Meredith were going to come with.. But then, um.. ha.. plans changed. So instead, we went to our local beachy place for appetizers. Then out to a fabulous Greek restaurant for dinner, where we got stranded until after midnight because of a downpour. Chris and George kept doctor talk to a minimum, and it turned out to be really nice. :)

Sunday, Chris went to church like a good boy. I made pancakes. In the afternoon, we went down to Coral Gables to visit the Fairchild Tropical Gardens, finally – someplace I’ve been wanting to see forever. Sadly, it was only open for two hours after we got there. D’oh! I got a few pictures though.

Then we went out for ice cream in Coconut Grove.

When we got home, while feeding the dogs, we had the pleasant surprise that the boat was full of water. Apparently the bilge pumps had stopped working… and, yeah, thanks to the aforementioned downpour the night before.. Well, yeah, the boat was flooded.

Thankfully, it’s a Boston Whaler, so it will never SINK, but you still don’t want rainwater + intracoastal water sitting in the boat and the bilge for days, so we got to bail it!

After getting sick of using a cereal bowl to get the water out of the delicate gas compartment, I got the 10-gallon shopvac out, which was the star of the evening. We still spent a good two hours out there, though. Whee, boats!

So yeah, that was my weekend. This weekend is another at home. Then next? NAPA!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007
  Yay! :)

Lookdown Fish, originally uploaded by Jeff Kubina.

Last night, I went for an hour-long jog.

I very rarely exercise anymore.. It’s very bad.

See, I am really bad about drinking water these days.. The Topamax has spoiled me. I don’t get headaches often at all. So I have gotten back into a bad habit of being dehydrated. Take Friday at work – I was running around at the office all day, and probably had one glass of water. All day! And I was so thirsty, but “too busy” to stop to drink something. Bad, bad, bad. So by the time the end of the day rolled around, I felt pretty awful. Pre-headache feeling. I often feel pre-headache. Thankfully, I don’t often GET the headache (due to the Topamax), but I don’t often feel like doing much strenuous activity when the day is done. Stupid, right?

Well, I gotta stop this. It’s dumb.

So anyway, I’ve been BAD about getting exercise. And when I do go out running or something, I end up getting overheated and taking an Imitrex in the middle of the night to prevent a migraine. I can’t take an Imitrex every time I go running!

Okay, so I went for a jog last night – stopped to pick up my Topamax along the way.

It was nice. I started thinking along the way that if I start running outside again, it will greatly increase my chances of adding another pet to the menagerie. Jogging outside is baaaaaaad for that. I’ve found two cats while jogging!

Last night, though, all I found was a dead fish.

It really pissed me off, actually.

I was jogging over the Commercial bridge when I looked over and saw a lookdown, leaned against the side of the bridge. A fisherman must have caught it and decided to set it down rather than throw it back in. I don’t know why anyone would do that. What a horrible way for a fish to die! It was long dead, but I threw it back in anyway. It really, really made me mad. If people want to fish for food, okay, but don’t fish just to kill stuff pointlessly.
Especially a lookdown. They’re so weird-looking.. Endearingly weird-looking.

So last night, I got home and was HOT. Ice pack on the head while I drank some water. Quick bath. Laundry. Lots of water. Sleep. Woke up this morning and my head still felt funny. I’m-definitely-getting-a-headache, side-of-my-head funny.

I DID NOT WANT TO TAKE AN IMITREX. I can’t take one every time I exercise, jeeeeez!

Instead, I took an Excedrin and drank some water, and had an English muffin.

An hour later, when I got to work, I realized I didn’t have a headache. My head felt fine.


Monday, October 22, 2007

big boy II, originally uploaded by estacey.

been busy

sleepy now

got a(nother) new lens, thanks to the ever-lovely chris
i used it to take this picture
me gusta

more later, when i ain't fallin' asleep...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

legs & palms, originally uploaded by estacey.

i didn't go back to work (for the whopping hour) after i finished at the middle school today. instead, i went to a park. and i went swinging!

this is the clearest picture i got.... i forgot, if you're moving, in a vehicle or otherwise, you're supposed to turn VR (which is always on unless it's on a tripod) onto "active" which i did not do. whoops. maybe that would've resulted in a sharper picture... the trees are supposed be blurry, but my feets are supposed to be sharp! learning experiences!

thank god they didn't have a merry-go-round.. just taking THESE pictures made me nauseaus.. swinging, with a camera strap wrapped twice around my neck, trying to take pictures while holding the camera still... i bet i looked special... :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007
  dammit - a long, crappy day (with a happy ending!)

cute as hell cupcake style., originally uploaded by Hello_Quynh.

what a crap day! why?

#1. i had $200 left to pay on that csa thing i'm doing this fall. you know, community-support agriculture. so i made the call: credit card vs. checking account. since i'm SAVING money now, in a savings account far, far away from my checking account, i have very little in my checking account at any given time, especially three days before pay day. but i did the math on how much i had in my checking account and it was fine to go ahead and pay the leftover $200 from there.

only paypal authorized that $200 twice. so although the charge never went through - and although i still have a positive bank balance, my bank is operating as though i am GOING to have $400 go through... so my five very small transactions (we're talking $5-10 each, from over the weekend) were hit with NSF fees, adding up to $175. i came in to work today greeted with an offiical bank balance of NEGATIVE $300, even though i officially still have a positive bank balance of $140, even AFTER they took out the $175 in NSF fees. can you tell me how that makes sense? the mistaken $200 authorization will probably never go through as a charge anyhow.. so they're basically penalizing me for something that will never happen. it's all bullshit. and i made a deposit today anyhow. argh. my bank account NEVER went in the negative.

of course, i grabbed my umbrella and marched right over to the bank. they said they would take care of it and call me. only when they called me, they said they could only refund $44 of it. i cried and said whatever. the dude called back and said they would refund half of it. thank you, whatever. fucking thieves. thieves!

#2. i was due a job review in may. may came and went and i didn't get one. no worries - the last time that happened, we did it two months late; my boss apologized, we did the job review, and i got my raise retroactive to the correct review date.

so this time, i wasn't worried. i didn't want to be pushy. then my boss put in her notice. then i wasn't sure what to do. and she had all this stuff to worry about before she left. i didn't worry, since i knew whenever i got the review, i would get the raise retroactively.

well, then my new boss starts. i mention to him that my job review is overdue. we took care of that last week. it went swimmingly. only he tells me it's my responsibility to REQUEST a job review. news to me. so we'll have to see if we can get that raise money retroactively.. which, at this point, is a good $800 before taxes.

i found out today that they are not going to give me the money. reason being, it's in our job guidebook. you know, as if we all have that memorized. as if what my prior boss was insinuating to me meant nothing. i think it's a harsh call, and one that doesn't make me feel very valued. obviously, had i known the rule, i would've asked for my job review as soon as possible. when my boss told me, i again almost started crying - today was a very expensive day! i bit my lip and said okay, then had to get to class.

so then i went and cried my entire way to school. what a fucking shit day.

then i had to take a test.

then i got out of class and took some pictures. that always helps. but then my battery went dead - gotta love the d70; my camera had been on in my bag since, uh.. saturday.

then i came home and recounted the whole thing to chris while sniffling and needing hugs and being all-around pathetic. the whole day felt all-around unfair. and it was, you know, expensive. my good boy gave me lots of hugs. then i asked him: am i pms'ing? he always knows better than me. no, he said - you have a reason to be upset! damn straight.

then, while he was hugging me, he told me he was going to give me an early christmas/birthday gift.. aside from costa rica & galapagos, i guess.. :) "but that's it!" he warned. "no more!" "so what is it?" i asked. "i'll buy you the 70-300 lens you want," he answered, then added, "and i guess my gps will just have to wait for another month." awwww! (i was toying with the idea of using that to buy the lens, seeing as how i really want it, but leaning towards saving the money for school. school starts again in january and i need to save my dough for that!)

he's a good boy, right? it definitely made me feel better. i'm still mad at wachovia, and mad at work, but this puts a happy ending to the day at least!

oh, also, i got a B on my math midterm.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Double Rainbow, originally uploaded by dmnaz1.

i wanted to bring my camera to the school, just in case.
see, it was a pretty ugly day. that usually means a lovely sunset.

but, i also didn't want to leave my now-REALLY-expensive camera in the car during my test, so i left it at home.

when i got to school, i got out of my car and what did i see?

not only a WHOLE rainbow.. as in start to finish.. but there was also the beginning of a second rainbow on the one side... it wasn't very well formed, but it was there. i cursed not having my camera there, not even my camera phone, and then decided i would enjoy it anyhow.

so i took out my notebook and reviewed my formulas on the hood of the car while admiring the rainbow until it faded away. then i went inside and took my test.

we'll see soon how i did.. :)


E X A M Z, originally uploaded by NESCAFE.

off to do my math midterm. :(

only the, uh, second time i've left the house this weekend! i love school, really!

  The stare-down

The stare-down
Originally uploaded by estacey.
Gretchen is our smartest doggy. She is also the most often mal-behaved. She has recently taken to jumping up on the bar, where we keep their treats, and helping herself. She has also jumped up on the dining room table a few times in the past couple of days to help herself to toys and cat food and whatever else has interested her.

To break her of this habit, Chris put a number of tempting things on the table last night, then disciplined her (grab her by the scruff and yell "NO!" when she went for them) if she tried to go for them. When she was good and left the table without misbehaving, she got a good-girl and a treat.

Sadly, I missed the photo op where she laid her little head down on the table and looked sad.
Friday, October 12, 2007
  Picture Day

Vance's pimp shoes, originally uploaded by shayze.

So I’m doing this field experience for school still. My second day of it was yesterday.

It was picture day for the 6th graders. They’re 10 years old.

This little kid walks in, named Devon, lookin’ real sharp. He’s wearing all purple. Purple pants, purple dress shirt with cufflinks.. and to top it off, purple dress shoes. Crocodile shoes. Purple crocodile shoes. At ten years old.

I had my camera, I just didn’t know if asking for a picture would be appropriate. I kicked myself for not getting one all the way home…

Wednesday, October 10, 2007
  I am way too pleased with myself.

whee!, originally uploaded by estacey.

My picure of Sebastian is on the Flickr blog.

We're at the kitchen table right now, and I was all grumpy because I am trying to do my FAU application and my major is not on the pull-down list, so I emailed the college and gave up. Still all grumpy.

Then I checked Flickr, and nada of interest. So I checked the Flickr blog, and there's my Sebastian. You should've heard me yell! :) "Chris, Chris, Sebastian's on the Flickr blog!!!"

And, wow, look at that cute little chihuahua swimmin' in the lobster costume!

Sunday, October 07, 2007
  buddy, buddy, buddy...

buddy the bee, originally uploaded by estacey.

Friday night, I did it. Bit the bullet. Went to Ritz and handed over my hard-earned money for a lot of glass...

introducing... my new lens!

The 18-200 VR lens. The lens I use my often now is an 18-55 (and the only one I use besides that is a 50). So, yeah, this 200mm guy is a monster.

new lens, with my old lens

It's also very heavy, and quite lovely.. The glass is so much prettier than any of the other lenses. It's so much wider. Makes for a big lens cap:

i was amused by how much bigger the new lens cap is

I realized yesterday, when putting on a filter outside, that there was dust under the glass. So last night we had to take it in to exchange it. Factory defect. But now I have a good one, so I'm happy.

The neighbor's boat had an iguana on it yesterday:

neighbor's boat, note iguana

Good for testing the 200mm zoom!

same iguana on boat

I don't know how happy I am with the picture quality at 200, but uhh.. yeah, it was my very first shot. And how many pictures do I need to take that that kind of zoom? I still wish I could get the 70-300 for the zoom jobs (COSTA RICA).. But this is a great, versatile lens. I'm super happy I got it. Now if I could just go somewhere to take some pictures!!!

Did I mention I should be doing math right now?
Saturday, October 06, 2007
  it's the most wonderful time.. of the year...

"I hate Halloween.", originally uploaded by estacey.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007
  holy shit, what an awesome capture!

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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