Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Little Bit of Green

trees, pond, urban
running water, pond, stream
Photographs #1, 2, 3 taken using the Canon EF 50 mm/f 2.8 STM lens; #4 taken by J. Kim.

Summer has arrived in full force.  We had a massive heat wave this past week in Los Angeles with temperatures over 105° F.  Wildfire swept through Kern County, decimating homes and terrain over 30,000 acres.  We've been in a five year long drought; fires are easy to start with the high winds, dryness, and low humidity.  The wildfire was close enough that we could see the clouds of smoke from campus.  Our plants were spared and they, with the exception of large stretches of grass, remain as verdant as ever.  

The well kept garden and grounds, however, can not disguise the hot and arid climate of our region.  Many of the fountains at the university are now kept dry to conserve water.  My skin is constantly parched, despite drinking 2+ liters of water a day and using lotion.  I quickly get thirsty when I go outside or walk through my lab space.  The rubber on the handlebars of my bike has melted in the heat and leaves sticky residue on my palms when I grip them.

I miss the rain.   

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sunday #15: Half A Year

Hi, y'all.  It's been about a month since I've last written a Sunday post and we have about half a year left in 2016.  I am debating giving up on this weekly-ish post, but it's the only semblance of a blogging schedule that I have.  

28.  I turned the ripe old age of 28 last week.  I like to pretend I age like a fine wine, but that's not really the case.  I took an elective year and a gap year before graduate school so I am one to two years older than my cohorts.  I definitely feel old.  Sometimes, I feel too old to have a blog because almost everyone seems to be in their early 20s.  To be fair, that was the same time I started fashion/lifestyle blogging.  My tastes have changed since there due, in large part, to necessity.  I like to think my blog reflects growth and it's more for improving photography than endless pictures of my outfits.  

CLEAN(ER) EATING.  In line with getting older, I get the sense that my metabolism is slowing down.  I am going to make a concerted effort to clean up my diet.  I have some big changes to make.  For example, snacking on fruits and vegetables instead of candy, pastries, giant bowls of cereal and instant noodles.  Yeah, my snacks are actually mini-meals.  

EISLEY.  One of the birthday presents from my boyfriend was tickets to see Eisley, the band my dreadnought acoustic guitar is named after.  I first heard their song Come Clean on the Muzak when I worked at the Gap about 9 years ago.  I am beyond excited to see my guitar's namesake live since I missed them when they played with Copeland in Los Angeles. 

24 MM. My mother sent me some money for my birthday so I purchased the Canon EF 24 mm/f2.8 STM lens.  I've been a good blogger this weekend and scheduled a few posts with images taken with this lens.  Keep your eyes peeled!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Catalina Island

Avalon, Catalina Casino, Catalina Island, Pacific Ocean, Marina
camping, Hermit Gulch, Avalon, Catalina Island
Catalina Casino (top).  Hermit Gulch campground (bottom). 

I went on a lab retreat this past weekend to Catalina Island which is just off the coast of Los Angeles.  We departed on a ferry from Long Beach and camped at Hermit Gulch for two nights.  Here are some of the photographs I took while I was in Avalon (the city on Catalina Island we were in).  Up top, you can see Catalina Casino on the shore, which is one of the island's most famous landmarks.  

While on the island, our group went kayaking about 3 miles up the coast.  Unfortunately, the current was against us on the way back so I am sure we kayaked for way more than the 6 miles round trip.  My arms were in a lot of the pain the past two nights!  It turns out that a great white shark was in the water on our return journey.  I'm a little bummed I didn't get to see it!  Despite how overcast it was the day we kayaked, I still have a heck of a tan and a bit of a sunburn.  My legs, which were partially shrouded by a wetsuit, have a pretty ridiculous farmer's tan going on.  Mmm, attractive.

Catalina Island, Avalon, Harbor, Catalina Island Harbor, Ferry Landing, Resort, Island
Hermit Gulch Trail, Hermit Gulch Campground, Hermit Gulch, Avalon, Avalon Port, Catalina Island
Harbor of Avalon City on Catalina Island (top).   View from atop the Hermit Gulch Trail (bottom).

The water surrounding the island was among the bluest and clearest I've ever seen.  Even the water in the marina, which was docked full of boats, was clear enough to be able to see the fish that swam right up by the shore.  The view of the harbor is pretty spectacular from atop the Hermit Gulch Trail which we hiked on Sunday morning.

Catalina Island, Seagull, Avalon, Seaside, Ocean, Retreat
Seagull at the ferry landing (left).  A pier on the port (right).

Our group ended up back in Los Angeles by the afternoon on Sunday.  We were all tanned, sunburned, and tired.  I enjoy seeing new places and camping, but I was pretty exhausted by the time I got home.  Being in the "wilderness" and by the sea is a wonderful way to take a mental break, but boy, was I glad to be under a real roof again!

Thursday, June 09, 2016


beach, california, weeds, brush, outdoors, ocean, seaside

"Your mind is a garden, 
Your thoughts are the seeds; 
You can grow flowers, 
Or you can grow weeds."

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Sunday #14: Home

Neighborhood palm trees.

I can not believe it's already June.  You know how people say time flies when you're having fun?  I think time flies as you get old is a more apt way of putting it.  June is a packed month: I have a work retreat, a Portugal. The Man and Cage the Elephant show, a project to wrap up, and my birthday!  For the past few years, I've gotten excited for my birthday month because Orange is the New Black debuts a new season, but I also panic a little because OH DANG IT'S JUNE.
HOME.  I am officially moved in to the new place!  It's a big, roomy shared house of six people now and a lovely little dog named Stella.  I have a few things left to still get from my old place, but I turn in my old keys tomorrow.  I was at the house all the time before anyways so it isn't too large of a change except my possessions won't be divided between two homes anymore.

A musician & his Gibson.

MUSICIANS.  I now live in a home full of musicians.  There is always music being played or made which is good inspiration/motivation for me to practice on my guitars.  I actually got my first guitar when I was 19 and then sold it less than a year later.  When I moved out here for graduate school, I became friends with my current roommates/boyfriend who all play guitar.  I bought myself an acoustic guitar in my first year and - aside from a few $10 lessons - taught myself how to play.  I am nowhere near as proficient as my friends, but practice makes perfect, eh?  Or not too imperfect, in my case.

HOARDERS.  If moving out has taught me anything, it is that I am a massive hoarder.  I lived in a small two bedroom apartment.  How I accumulated so many possessions is beyond me, but I found myself throwing out trash bags of things.  This will likely continue for the weeks to come.  I have enough makeup to start a YouTube channel and enough outgrown clothing to hold a yard sale.  I ended up selling a lot of my old things through my school's marketplace.  "One man's trash is another man's treasure."  And in this case, I had a lot of trash.

UCLA.  On a more somber note, a school shooting occurred this past week that was particularly close to home.  I want only to say that I have colleagues who work at UCLA and are safe, thankfully.  It is a tragedy that the academic community lost a scientist and a family lost a father.  RIP Professor William Klug.