Tuesday, March 31, 2009

i have to write a paper for my holocaust class. i am still trying to figure out a topic.

but i have to think of one soon so i can get this done. otherwise my next month will be lived on the brink of tears. i've learned more than i want to know about it, you know?

i just cannot get over how the seemingly ordinary german people turned into such monsters. you see these pictures of people that had just dug their own graves... a line of soldiers behind them, opening fire. how could you possibly ever dig your own grave? how could you sit at the edge of a pit filled with the people killed before you? it's mind-boggling. and what the nazis did... completely turned the jewish people into something other than human.

pictures are so sad. elderly women walking children along a road they didn't realize would lead them to their death. mothers leading along their children.. completely precious little angels. i really just cannot fathom it.

i chose this picture instead of one i'm talking about because i didn't want to visually assault anyone. that's how i feel about yahoo mail when they show me these ads for a rescue group that show bear baiting and starving dogs. i really don't think it's fair that when i go to check my email, i have to get heart-sick like those pictures make me.

Monday, March 30, 2009
  I took doggie pics this weekend for a local rescue group.

China the Chow, originally uploaded by estacey.

It was actually a LOT of fun. It was a fundraiser for a local boxer rescue; you pay $15-20, you get a pic of your dog with the Easter bunny. I only have one pic up of the dog + Easter bunny thing, but it's on Flickr if you want to see.

This is a lovely Chow whose front half was twice as big as her back half. Like a little lion, she is.

Saturday, March 28, 2009
  The best part about going to the dollar store.

Sebastian and his balls., originally uploaded by estacey.

I always buy Sebastian a little ball - or three - any time I go to the Target pets section, or the pet store, or the dollar store. For example, earlier this week I got him two little mousies from Pet Supermarket. Tonight I got him three tiny balls from the dollar store, along with a big plush squeaker.

I don't know where the hell all these balls go.. I'm kinda scared to look behind the furniture.. but it sure is fun for the first hour or so after I get home, watching Sebastian go crazy trying to fit three balls in his mouth and then bouncing another one at him. He drops them all and tries to catch the one I bounced, then all of a sudden seems to realize what he's done and tries spazzily to get the original balls back.

Right now he's whining because one of them got pushed under the couch. Ahhhhh, dogs.

Friday, March 27, 2009
  The Haps
I haven't posted much here lately 'sides photographs... Well, clearly, I do realize that not many people read this anyway so it doesn't really matter. It kinda struck me I think just being without Internet for a week even in Costa Rica what a goddamn time-suck the 'net is. Don't get me wrong.. I do loves the Internets. But too much stuff I spend my time doing online is not at all enriching to my life. Really, in 20 years, is everyone going to be happy with the amount of time they spent on Facebook taking quizzes like What Golden Girl Are You? (I will post another day about the ridiculous egotistical shit going on at Facebook & Twitter.) (Another sidenote.. Some chick from high school is ALWAYS on Facebook, and always changing her status to things about how much she loves her family/husband, and how great her life is... And from her pics it LOOKS like she has it great, a beautiful family and whatnot, but I can't help but think that if her life were that great, wouldn't she want two more hours every day to be in it rather than mucking about on Facebook? I dunno.)

ANYWAY. What I came on here to talk about was..... COSTA RICA!

After I got back from our last trip there, I googled the sloth sanctuary and discovered they have a volunteer program. I emailed them straight away but didn't hear anything for days and days... So I tried calling. The number wouldn't work. I tried to call for days, hoping something was wrong that had corrected itself. I called T-Mobile for their assistance; they tried, but couldn't figure out what was wrong. Finally I just googled the number and was able to find out that they added digits to all the phone numbers recently, so I just added a 2 to the number and voila! I was connected. Apparently their email is somewhat flaky, so she had received it but hadn't had a chance to write back... And of course I was welcome to come!

Fast forward a few days of professor wrangling (so I could be done on the 21st of April rather than the 28th) and I am ALL CLEAR TO GO! I have two additional papers to write now, which sucks, but it's worth it.

I haven't yet made my reservations.. I think I'll do that this weekend.. but my tentative dates are 4/25-5/19. That's 3.5 weeks. I'm a little scared.. I am going to miss the animals (and yes, Chris) so much. It's worse with the animals, though, since they don't know where I am and they can't exchange emails with me every day. Well, maybe Gretchey can, but I don't have much hope for the rest of them.

It'll be great though. The volunteering consists of six days per week, beginnng at 6 a.m. (!!!) and lasting until about 3. They give you a range of things to do so you get different experiences there, from hands-on sloth stuff to helping with the landscaping and giving tours to tourists. I am guessing some of this depends on your experience and strengths. They have wifi and DirectTV, so I can stay on top of email and maybe upload a few pics... I didn't have the energy for TV when we were there last time so I can't imagine that even matters. It gets dark SO early there.. like 6 p.m. I was asleep between 8-11 every night there.

One really cool thing is that they're on a quiet little river called the Estrella River. I think it was a bigger river before the big earthquake a few years back, then everything changed. So anyway, it's nice and quiet and there are lots of birds and caimans and apparently monkeys and sloths in the trees there... We went out on a canoe ride one morning but it started raining about 10 minutes after we went out so we didn't see all that much. But if I can go out any day I want once the work is over.. I should be able to see some good stuff. Which is great since I saw a bunch of jacanas but didn't get any pictures and that kinda drives me crazy.

It's gonna cost me a bit, but I think I can do it all (fees at sanctuary + bus + air) for about a thousand bucks. Which is pretty good for a 3.5 week stay!

Anyway, so that's the big news. I got lots of stuff to do in April now though. I mean MORE stuff to do...

My family arrives on the 7th, staying for a week. We're taking them to Disney for a weekend. And then, of course, I have a final test and FIVE PAPERS to finish. Big time stress there. But then... Costa Rica!!! :)
Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Chris's cluttered house., originally uploaded by estacey.

This was Chris's house when I met him.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009
  can i just say...

that i love my chris? i've been a bit overcome by that feeling the last few days. maybe i'm just ovulating. :p

seriously, look at how funny he is.. i really should've gotten a better pic. on our way to the airport, he changed into comfortable shoes. then was walking around with this blue backpack on - that's his luggage. somehow he used the one blue backpack for both the weekend in philadelphia AND the week in costa rica. equally full bag. ?!

anyway, he's a dear. that's all. :)

  Kitty in the window

Kitty in the window, originally uploaded by estacey.

it kills me that i cut off the top of her head, but i was working with the 50mm... what can you do?

i like this anyhow. the cat was on the other side of the glass and not sure at all what to make of the little girls. much like MY cats are doing right now with our two-and-a-half-year-old house guest. she has been chasing them around all night, particularly kitten, wanting to pet. kitten lets her but very soon after does the arched-back thing and runs off.

anyway, i guess i should go to bed now. i have a long day of being unprepared at school tomorrow. :\

Monday, March 23, 2009
  Bowie Simone

Bowie Simone, originally uploaded by estacey.

The playground is an awesome place to take pictures :)


Joy Tsin, originally uploaded by chrisinphilly5448.

so i'm home from a weekend in philly, eating out and playing with kids.

crepes after we arrived, with chris's friend from college. then we went here for dim sum. really goood. then bad italian food in the 'burbs saturday night.

i'm going to see someone about a summer job now! wish me luck!

Friday, March 20, 2009
  The most heartbreaking dog.

The most heartbreaking dog., originally uploaded by estacey.

Talk about sad.

Most of the dogs I fed looked hungry... but most of them looked like they were getting by alright. I felt better after I fed them because I knew I was one meal of many that they were getting somehow or another.

Feeding this girl made me feel absolutely no better.

We stopped the car and I got out with a can of Alpo and some dry food. She looked at me for a second and then started to mosey away. I was calling out to her but she didn't seem interested... I am guessing people don't offer her food often so she wasn't expecting it.

I don't really have any more pics from Monteverde because I felt pretty rotten after seeing this dog and couldn't do anything but stare out the window.

I swear, if we weren't ON THE ROAD TO THE AIRPORT, I would've found a way to help her. Brought her to a tourist town. Something.

She was a sweetie with long, floppy ears. And she appeared to be a mama.

Please, if you go to a country where the animals need some help - help them.

This road is the one from Monteverde and is extremely well travelled by tourists. Even if one person a day stopped to give her food, this dog wouldn't look like she was at death's door.

She's about 20 minutes up the hill from Casa Tranquilo, if anyone is going to Monteverde any time soon and wants to ensure themselves a spot in heaven by helping this girl.

Thursday, March 19, 2009
  Color me proud!

Buddies., originally uploaded by estacey.

I was walking Maggie a week or so ago. She loves to go to the beach... She bounces around and jumps on me and all sorts of stuff. It's really cute, and worth risking getting in trouble for bringing a dog on the beach. :D

Anyway, when we were almost home we came upon a couple walking their puppy. A Great Dane / Boxer mix. He was ADORABLE and HUGE. Only three months old and he was already bigger than Maggie... with the paws of a tiger!

I let Maggie sniff him, and he started doing the play/crouch thing. He jumped up and put his paws on Maggie's shoulders.

The amazing part? She played back!

The people made their dog stop, and we carried on with our walk... I was so so so so proud of her, though. I have always been nervous with her and other dogs on the street, so for her to be okay to be jumped on by a bigger-than-her dog was HUGE.

Then yesterday she bit our friend Lally.
No, really, though, it's not really a BAD thing... I had gone outside to greet him, then came back in so he came in on his own.. So as far as Maggie knew, he was just some 6'4" intruder. She bit his hand. But, like I said, I don't consider that a bad thing.. From now on, we just have to make sure we escort people in so she realizes that we want them there. But if someone is busting in our house without us there, it's probably a good thing that she'll go a little crazy on them.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009
  Fozzie says, "I'm the last Costa Rica picture!"

All the pics are up! WOoHOoOooO!

I didn't upload some crap pics I got of some agoutis and some coatimundis (I may be butchering that but I so don't care) and stuff we did on the night walk. I also may have some nice pics of hummingbirds I've thus far overlooked. And lots of baby sloth bums. But I think this is the important stuff.

I'm gonna make me a Blurb book with the pics this time..!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009
  that's it; i'm wearing face masks on airplanes from now on
i'm sick. real bad sick.

we think it's the flu. or maybe dengue fever. (seriously.)

i started getting stomach issues tuesday or so. and i woke up that morning with a migraine. thursday i started getting weak and feeling really bad. by thursday night i had a horrible headache horrible backache and everything in between hurt. runny nose. coughing.

i have now had a horrible headache for some 36 hours. bad enough that it makes me cry sometimes. bad enough that i can't sleep. i'm up all night, honestly... thank god for the percocet the doc gave me a while back because, without it, i wouldn't be sleeping. i take it at 1 or 2 and sleep til 6 or so at least. i took one this morning at 7 - a whole one, unlike the halves i had been doing before, and blissfully slept til 1 p.m.

only i woke up and the headache is just as splitting and horrible as before.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009
  dolphin swimming with a shuttle boat in new zealand

Originally uploaded by heather
real cool, eh?
Monday, March 09, 2009
  One of the baby sloths during weigh-in with a volunteer


Should I mention... I just wrote to these folks for them to consider me as a volunteer. They have a program where you pay $200/wk for room & board and you can stay from 2-4 weeks helping out. I would SO love that. So, I wrote a letter... Cross your fingers for me.

If I could work it out, I could probably go after this semester, before the summer session starts, then finish up the last FIVE credits of my college career by the end of July. :)

The only problem I foresee is trying to check a 50-lb bag of dog food for the strays in Cahuita.

Sunday, March 08, 2009
  I'm home!!!

I'm home!!!, originally uploaded by estacey.

Yes, I got to go to the sloth sanctuary! It was so, so awesome. This is a two-toed (or a two-FINGERED as I learned the preferred nomenclature is these days) baby sloth, eating... carrot, I think it was. They really are just heart-melting cute. We stayed here for two nights, so I got to see a few feedings.

Unfortunately most of the pics I took here are blurry. It was low-light so I used the 50mm with a 1/60 shutter speed, which I thought was sufficient for the blur factor. Apparently not. Which both bums me out and makes me think, hey, I guess that just means I have to go back.

So we stayed on the Caribbean side two nights, then went to Manuel Antonio for three nights, then Monteverde for the last day and night. Costa Rica has so many different things to offer, which is amazing for a country HALF THE SIZE OF KENTUCKY. You'll see as I upload my pictures.

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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