Best of 2007

Yellow Flower, originally uploaded by LapisBlue.

A collection of what are (in my humble opinion) forty of the best photographs I took in 2007. Enjoy!

Almost Famous

A week or so ago I recieved an email from a lovely woman at Smapp!! travel guide telling me one of my photographs of the Mokuaikaua Church was on the short list to be included in the latest edition of their guide. Today I recieved the email letting me know the photo was actually included! So now when you're looking for churches and temples on the Big Island of Hawaii, you'll see my picture! Squee!

Thursday 13

A list of thirteen awesome things that happened to me this past week.

1.  I went to see the latest Harry Potter movie with a couple friends from work last Friday evening. It was really good! I hadn't been to a movie in the theater since I saw Batman Returns with my friend Jewel in Santa Barbara. I'd go out to the movies more often, but we no longer have a theater in Mudhole, so I'd have to drive to Paso or San Luis, and I'm not willing to do either.

2.  I waited in line till after midnight to pick up the new - and final - Harry Potter book last Friday/Saturday with a couple other ladies from work.

3.  I had two great workouts this week including doing supersets with a machine likte this. I didn't think I'd like it, or even be able to DO it, but I did one minute in between my weights, and it was really awesome!

4.  Earlier I found this awesome computer accessory that lets me switch between my old computer and new computer with ease! This also enabled me to use my scanner and photo printer again, which I haven't been able to do with my new computer (but they work with my old one just fine), as well as have use of all the CDs I downloaded onto my old computer's iTunes, that won't transfer to my new computer.

5.  On Wednesday I got my British version of HP7, which I'd pre-ordered from! I sold my other book to a co-worker and picked up on page 251.

6.  I finished my Hawai'i scrapbook which I was making with the help of Blurb's BookSmart software. I can't wait to get it, and see what it looks like!

7.  I lost one pound.  May not seem like much, but I've plateaued and haven't been losing anything lately, so it was nice to see that one pound gone!

8.  I bought a new pair of Birkenstocks to replace the trashed pair I abandoned in Hawai'i.

9.  I sold a bunch of stuff on eBay this past week, which is always very exciting!

10.  At work I had the opportunity to watch a jury verdict come in. It was only a limited case - nothing big like a murder trial, or anything - but it was still interesting to watch the process in action.

11. I love, love, love Blister Block! It has saved my feet from my collection of cute-but-deadly shoes more times than I can count. I now have a stick at home, one at work, and another in my travel case.

12.  I have been enjoying Snapple's Diet Green Tea a great deal lately as well.

13. And, finally, I have discovered this yummy-tasting vitamin enhanced drink mix from Crystal Light! It tastes like lemonaid, but not as sticky-sweet or tart as some lemonaid mixes.

Have a great weekend!

Update List

13 Random Update-type Things

1. You know how when you come back from a fantastic vacation - like, oh, say, Hawai'i! - a few days later you fall into a deep melancholy? Yeah? That's exactly what happened to me when I got back from the Big Island. The past couple of weeks I've been depressed and frustrated and quick to anger. I hate it, but what can I do? I tried drinking, but that only made it worse. Kidding. Maybe. Luckily I spent last weekend in Fresno with my BFF Jewel, who was in town visiting her folks. I had a great time hanging out with her, visiting with her parents and older brother, and enjoying a scrumptous BBQ pork loin prepared by her dad!Sunday we went Power Shopping at Catherine's, Avenue, Lane Bryant and Torrid, and indulged in traditional and crab cake eggs Benedict at Mimi's Cafe (I got the crab cake one, Jewel got the regular one, and we shared them). There may or may not have been Weinerschnitzel chili cheese dog/burger involved, but I don't admit to anything.

2. Speaking of Hawai'i, I am still working on the final couple of journal entries about that fabulous trip, but the first three are up here, here and here. Enjoy! I still have to write about the evening at the Ranch and touring the Palace and Hawai'i's first Christian church, checking out St. Paul's Catholic Church and an nearby alter. I have no idea when I'll get those entries, done, but I promise you I will.

3. Also, the garden is growing by leaps and bounds! We've already harvested three green bell peppers and about four cucumbers - all of which were delicious, by the way! The tomatoes are coming on, and we have some zucchinis, but they don't seem to be thriving; they're kinda withering on the vine, so to speak. I think they might need to be pollenated. Also, the honeydew have tons of blossoms, but nothing that even remotely resembes a melon. Yet.

4. A couple weeks ago, mom and I went to the Atascadero Wine Festival, then I toured the Charles Paddock Zoo while she rested in the shade. It was a fun in-town escape from our usual weekend rut of walking up to the cafe formerly known at Carlene's for coffee and breakfast, getting groceries, buying plants for the garden, playing on the internet, napping all afternoon, cooking dinner, then going to bed. I plan to break the rut as much as possible this summer by planning a day trip to Santa Margarita Lake, going to Farmer's Market in Paso one Saturday, walking on the boardwalk along Moonstone Beach near Cambria and the newly completed one that runs from Pismo Beach to Grover Beach, and visiting Cayucos and Morro Bay just for the heck of it.

5. I know there's been a lot of talk about that new diet drug alli. Well, lemming that I am, I bought some. And, now, with all the bad press and scary news about it*, I'm terrified to try it. And, yet, I will. Because I bought it, and I'm too embarrassed to try to return it. So, I spent yesterday cleaning out the fridge, freezer and pantry in anticipation of starting alli - no more creamy, high-fat salad dressings (Farewell Lighthouse Thousand Island and Bleu Cheese! How I loved thee!), no more mayo (maybe light or fat free, but I'll have to look into it), no more regular Bumble Bee Tuna Salad kits, no more regular ice cream, and perhaps maybe no more Lean Pockets. I'm not sure. I'm also not sure about cooking with olive oil, or eating salmon or avacados. All I know is I can't eat any fat while taking alli, or whatever I've eaten will suddenly and horribly whoosh out of my body like a six-year-old shooting out of a water park slide. I'm planning on taking my first alli pill this Saturday. I figure the weekend will be a safe time to try it, as I will be home, and very close to a bathroom!

6. Yesterday I also cleaned out my closet to make room for all the fun new stuff I bought in Fresno: two pair of dressy capri pants, one pair of dressy bermuda shorts, and one white skirt. Yes, I bought a skirt (in a size 16, y'all!). I also bought two dresses. I've been feeling girlie lately, I guess. I also got a red tank top and brown cropped wrap cardigan to go with the bermuda shorts, and a white summer sweater to go with one of the dressy capri pants. I already have a couple tank tops that will match the colours in the pants, so I didn't need to buy anything new. I got a few black and white tops, too. I've seen a lot of black and white stuff lately, and really like it. I ended up getting two tops at Avenue (to go with the skirt, also from Avenue), three at Torrid (actually one, but I'm counting the other two I purchased on line not too long ago but long enought that I totally forgot about them) and the white sweater at Lanie B. Pretty much everything else is in combinations of my usual camoflaging earth tones - tan, brown, green, etc. The black and white is kind-of a bold move for me, but I'm excited to start wearing my new stuff!

7. I have not yet discussed wth TrainerDude about adding a Friday evening work out, but I plan to soon. He's hinted at it a couple times, so I don't think it'll be a schedulling conflict with him. I really hate to give up my Friday evening, though - that's when I get my mani/pedis, haircuts, etc. - but I really think I need that extra day of intense, physical, there's-no-wimping-out-of-this-work-out to jump start my fitness routine. I'm feeling a bit in a rut about it, and though I've lost weight, I think I can do better. I also plan to book lap times in the pool on Tuesdays and Thursdays (when I'm not mowing the lawn) for some different cardio. And also because I realized when I was in Hawai'i that my once-mad swimming skillz have faded with time. And, probably with the weight gain, too.

8. Last night I had a very strange, creepy crank phone call. Some guy called up, asked for me by name (though not by the name I go by now; the one that everyone except immidiate family and a very few friends call me, though they know I go by this other name now, but old habits die hard, and all that, so he obviously doesn't - or can't possibly - actually KNOW me), then when I asked who was calling, told me to guess. It's nearly 9:30 on a weeknight and I have to get up early to catch the bus to work, and this (pardon my French) asshole wants to play guessing games on the God-damn phone? Screw that! I told him no, I'm not guessing, and asked again who was calling. Once again he said, "Guess." I said, "I don't play guessing games." He didn't reply for about five seconds, so I hung up. I'm sure it was a totally random crank call, but I can't help being freaked out by it. I don't know very many men, and none of the ones I do know would call me up late at night and mess around with my head. At least I HOPE they wouldn't. I did not sleep well last night worrying that Phone Stalker might call again, or worse, actually be outside my damn house! Yes, I know it's totally unreasonable to be afraid like that, but it was just freaky, creepy and weird, and it's going to take me a couple of days for me to recover.

9. I'm still taking pictures of the lavender in the back yard. I'm not sure why I'm so fascinated with it, but I've been taking pictures all year and playing with them in both picnik and dumpr - my two fave photographic playgrounds. Why did I spend so much dang money on Photoshop? Why oh why? Both of these sites are ten times easier to use and they're free (so far)! Here's a couple examples of my work; the first manipulated in picnik, the other using dumpr:

070407lavender2800600picnic2 Lomolavenderjuly

10. And speaking of pictures, I finally got some Hawai'i shots printed up and clipped on the Art Board:


11. On the work front, things will be changing rather dramatically as The Kenyan is returning to his home country this weekend. For six. months. I'm trying not to be too freaked about it, because we are getting a temp (who is really super good, from what I hear), but I do feel a bit stressed about it, and just hope everything works out okay. I think I need to do some yoga breathing or something to calm down.

12. On a happier note, we basically have two Fridays this week, as we got off yesterday for 4th of July, so Tuesday felt like a Friday, then tomorrow we get our regularly-scheudled Friday! Fun, but confusing, because Tuesday felt like Friday, yesterday felt like Saturday, and today feels like Monday! I just hope I remembered to do everything I was supposed to do on THURSDAY!!

13. I'm running out of updates, so how 'bout another picture? These are some plumeria flowers from Hawai'i. Cheers!


* Links via Elastic Waist.


Thursday Thirteen: Hawaii Edition

Thirteen Things I Loved About My Vacation to Hawaii (in no particular order):

1.  Hawaii!! I was in HAWAII!! Totally beautiful and warm (and humid!) and wonderful! Yes, I got sunburned, but dang! it was worth it!!


2.  Gorgeous white sand beaches!


3.  Ocean kayaking! Really, really hard, but totally awesome fun!


4.  Snorkeling! OMG! Totally AMAZING awesome fun!!


5.  The sunset from the Kahua Ranch. Spectacular!


6.  The wonderful meal at The Fish Hopper Restaurant. Fancy and ono (Hawaiian for "delicious"), but afforable!


7.  Hulihe'e Palace Too bad about the earthquake damage, but still and lovley place!


8.  Beautiful Flowers. Like this one:


9.  Lava rock - strange, yet very cool looking. And also useful: the Hawaiians used the lava rocks to build above-ground planters like this one:


10.  Swimming with dolphins! The best most amazing experience EVER!!!


11.  Cute critters!


12.  The Luau!


13. Great company! Mahalo for inviting me to come with  you, DeeDee!


And, aloha to all of you!

If a picture's worth a thousand words ...

... how much would 1,593 pictures be worth? That's how many pictures I took on vacation in Hawaii: 1,593. I'm still going through them, cropping them, saving the good ones and discarding the bad, out-of-focus ones. It's taking forever, but I'm getting closer every day. Here's a few more to whet your appetites:

884 914

1240 1505

In other news, my sunburn is now peeling, so I'm extra special pretty right now. And also, it itches like madness, especially my back where I can't reach it. Gah.

Back Home

Aloha, Cousins!

I arrived safe and sound in SLO bright and early this morning, and made it in to work by 9:30. Not bad! I'm still sunburned (and getting itchy!), and strangely enough at about 1:15 I noticed my ankles had swollen. Is this one of those "I can't win for losing"-type situations? Gah! There are about a dozen reasons why this happened: 1) I've been eating aspirin for the past week, and it clearly says on the box to stop if you suddenly swell up; 2) I'm dehydrated from not drinking enough water; 3) I didn't walk around enough (i.e., at all) on the flight home; 4) I'm getting my period; or 5) My shoes were too tight (I was wearing my water sox all day which were still kinda wet after the day before.). My guess is a combination of all five. That, and my dumb luck.

Anyway, while the swelling has subsided a bit now, but they're still puffy. I have no idea what shoes to wear to work tomorrow as I abandoned my old birkies in Kona. Not the smartest move I made while on the island!

And now for a little photo:


Last Day

Aloha! I'm writing from the public terminal in the lobby of the resort because britney treo's battery has finally died. Sadly, I didn't remember until this morning that all my addresses were in there, and now it won't turn on. And, I already bought all the post cards. Sigh. Anyway, this has been an awesome trip, and I've loved every second of it! I filled up two memory cards for my camera - one of which was a 1 GB! So, yeah, lots of pictures!

Here's a brief overview of the trip thus far:

Saturday DeeDee and I arrived on the Big Island. We didn't do much but kinda drive around and get our bearings. We had nachos and foofoo drinks at the Hard Rock Cafe and called it a day.

Sunday we took a left on Hwy 19 and explored part way up the coast. We stopped at a State Park, found a gorgeous little beach tucked behind a fancy-pants hotel/resort/condos/shopping mecca, and saw a sea turtle up close. That evening we attended a luau where we had more foofoo drinks and ate our weight in roasted pig and Hawaiian sweet potatoes. Once I figured out which setting to use on my camera, I got some great shots of the dancers!

Monday was our ocean kayaking/snorkeling day. Man, am I glad I've been working out, because paddling the kayak in the ocean is hard work! But it was totally awesome! So was the snorkeling, once I got past the clausterphobic part of having the mask on and not being able to breathe through my nose! The coral reef was truly amazing, and my underwater camera case worked perfectly! I've got some great pictures to share!!! Later that evening (i.e., after taking a well-deserved nap!), we shopped for shoes, and had more foofoo drinks and a delicious dinner at The Fish Hopper. I highly recommend it!!

Tuesday we did some shopping along Alii Street, checked out the King Kamehameha's Palace and the first church built on the Island, then had a four martini lunch at what looked at first like a little dive place, but had the most amazing view, I couldn't resist! And, also the food was pretty good! We spent the evening at a Hawaiian ranch up in the mountians with a bunch of awesome paniolos - Hawaiian cowboys!No foofoo drinks here, but I did try some local brew, and it was very nice!

Today is my last day here. (cue violins) I'm a bit sad, but at the same time very sunburned (note to self - next time take something to cover legs and back when on kayaking trip!), and kinda looking forward to getting home and seeing my family and friends. This afternoon DeeDee and I are going to swim with Dolphins at another fancy-pants hotel/resort which should be all kinds of awesome! Especially now that I know my underwater camera case really works!!

I fly back at 7:05 this evening, so I really do have a goodly chunck of the day to do one last cool thing - like find a black sand beach? Yeah, that would be cool!