Fall Festivities

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October and November are my favorite months of the year. The leaves changing from vibrant green to golden yellows and reds, drinking fresh cider from the bottle while walking home from the market, watching spooky Halloween Dateline episodes, wearing flannels and boots and wooly socks. And balancing things on my dog’s head. Yep.

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Jack has this way about him. He’s calm and wise and really happy all the time. Like if buddha and yoda had a baby, you’d get Jack. I get asked a lot if he minds us putting things on his head, and he really doesn’t. He just goes with it, gobbling up the piece of turkey and praise we give him afterwards. It’s funny, having this little squatty sidekick that goes everywhere with you.  (Hu)man’s best friend and all. Here’s him being festive for fall and Halloween this week. And just incase you missed it, there’s more here and here.

…”AAAmmMmMMY…”

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I’m a Mummy.

… Happy Halloween!

welcome to the neighborhood

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Hello there. Apologies for the radio silence, we spent the week getting all moved into our new place and had to deal with some unanticipated moving drama. In the previous post I mentioned our car was broken into and laptop stolen. Well, this week our Uhaul truck was stolen. Yep, an entire large-sized moving truck. Trey’s vintage motorcycle was inside…the one he’d been fixing up for the past year. Luckily, we had unloaded almost everything else and just parked it for the night next to our place until we could return it in the morning (living in SF for six years had us weary of whether to leave it on the street or not, but Uhaul assured us it would be fine in Berkeley). It still hasn’t been found. So, it was a rough couple of days. Luckily the thieves targeted a couple of less-is-more kinda folks who don’t dwell in negativity…

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I wanted to share some photos I took while out and about in our new neighborhood yesterday. Despite what it sounds like, we actually live in one of the best neighborhoods in the area. We’re just a few streets over from a bunch of cute restaurants, cafes, shops, and an old school independent theater that I’m really excited to go to.

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Jack is already making friends with store-owners here. He thinks he’s invited inside everywhere he goes. He just swanks on in like a good friend you haven’t seen in a while, flashing that big ole’ toothy grin of his …“HEY!”…

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Table for two? ^

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Go Giants! ^

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I’m looking forward to exploring more around here and documenting the process of putting our new place together. We need a couch, for starters. Here’s my current seating situation:

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I am hopeful that as things start calming down we will regain some semblance of normalcy in our lives soon…(well, as normal as we get)… after 2 weeks on the road and 2 weeks in Airbnbs/hotels…we’re ready!

Scenes from the weekend

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This weekend was filled with warmth and sun, good food and watching aerial displays by fighter jets from our friend’s rooftop downtown (the Navy’s blue angels were here for fleet week).

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We ran into these mobsters on the street.

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I like to imagine the bulldog as the mob boss and the mastiff as the muscles. “Doh, I don’t know bout that there boss“…

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Then I saw this license plate on the Bay bridge and thought…heh, llamas.

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And a few minutes later traffic stalled, and I looked over and saw this…

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A van full of llamas.

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Then the fog begin to set in on the sail boats in the bay as we made our way home.

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Alright Monday, let’s do this…

happiest of birthdays

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It was Trey’s birthday yesterday so we did some good ole’ fashion celebrating. His birthdays are always ragers. Last year we crammed 25 people in a room in japan town for karaoke before jaunting around the city loaded up on sake bombs and Hall and Oats. But since it was a Tuesday and we just got back from Europe last week, we both decided a low-key celebration at home would be best this year. So, coffee and breakfast in bed, turkey tacos with too much cheese, shots of tequila with friends on facetime, and a bonfire to end the night it t’was.

And it was a good day indeed.

Happy birthday to you, lover boy. You are my moon, my thunder, and oh do I love this little empire we’ve built.

Love, love, love,

nic x

A mini home tour

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We’ve been spending a lot of time indoors lately (audible sigh from Jack) since it’s basically Africa outside. So, I thought I would share some photos from inside our home, starting with the bedroom.

Ohh sleeping spaces.  In college I shared the hull of a boat with a friend, and later a twin-sized bed with Trey. Our last “bedroom” in San Francisco was in a closet (‘closet-bed’ as it came to be known as). Add an over-friendly dog and cat into the mix and you could say we definitely had become accustom to sleeping on top of each other. Even though we were used to tiny space living, and in someways even preferred it, we knew the first order of business when we got here was to get a bigger bed. And oh is it glorious (picture Trey sprawled star-fish on the bed. Or not, don’t do that).

Since we’re renting and knew we would only be here for a year, we didn’t make any major changes to the space. Our headboard is made from a shipping pallet, and the dresser is a craigslist find that we added some brass knobs to. Most of the items laying around are things we’ve picked up while traveling. The woven wall tapestry is a favorite of ours that we found while rummaging through a street market in Costa Rica. This space gets a lot of light and I find it really peaceful. It makes sleeping in on Sunday mornings really nice…that is, until someone gets hungry and we all have to get out of bed. I’m hoping to share more details of our home in the coming weeks since it won’t be long before we’ll be packing it all in boxes in preparation for our move back to California.

a supermoon

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Copyright Wildlandia 2014

We’re big space nerds here, so when the opportunity to photograph a supermoon comes along on a warm summer night, you know we’ll most likely be in our backyard staring up at the sky. We brought chairs out and spent a good while just staring at the moon’s intricacies through our telephoto camera lens. Then we thought to film it moving across the night sky (above). 

720_2 supermooninsta 720_1 Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset Trey’s grandfather (his namesake) was an engineer for NASA and Boeing Air. The technical documents he wrote for the Apollo 11 moon landing mission are in the Smithsonian museum in Washington, DC. Hearing his grandfather tell his stories during the holidays is always a fun time. It was great to see the moon so big and bright last night. The next supermoon is coming up in August…I’m thinking supermoon cocktails….

united states of ‘merica

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We celebrated our nation’s independence the same way a lot of Americans do…with copious amount of light domestic beer, sun-filled trips to the beach with family, and shooting mortars out of make-shift exhaust pipe launchers in the middle of the street. Let freedom ring (in your ears, it was loud).

It’s the little things

1. These ears  IMG_5423 copy (and the kitty attached to them).

2.This book about treehouses  Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset (because one day we’re going to build a badass one).

3. This necklace my sweet island friend made Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset (because it’s simple and the perfect length).

4. This dream catcher we carried back with us Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset (to remind us of British Columbia).

5. This smile  Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset (because it’s magic).

6. This origami elephant neatly folded by Trey IMG_5442 copy (because he knows paper animals get me every time).

the teeth of sharks

 

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There is a place on the Gulf coast where millions of shark teeth are buried. I didn’t know of it until a few weeks ago, and over the weekend I waded out at low tide at Casperson Beach in Venice, Florida with a sacrificial spaghetti colander to find some. Many of the teeth locals find here are quite old; remnants left behind from sharks that once roamed the Gulf of Mexico. An older man waded out next to me with a shovel-sifter and stories of divers finding megalodon teeth 4 inches tall out of these waters. A dolphin came in close to catch a fish and eyed us on its way out. It was neat, and when I got home I took an old frame and left over fabric to display the day’s bounty.

 

And so it begins

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On a Wednesday around 3:30pm.

I’m sitting behind a heavy wooden desk that’s older than I am at a job I feel ambivalent about. Large tattered binders filled with backlogged data flank me to my left. To my right sits an open mason jar half full of this morning’s coffee. Surely my lab manager would have a conniption if he saw it.  A large, bare bulletin board glares at me from above my workstation reminding me I have yet to fill it. Others in the lab have theirs adorned with family photos, political comics and notes. It’s been 9 months, I really should put something up. Or maybe a plant. People like plants. But, as much as I’d like to make my space more personal, part of me wonders how long I’ll be here. Tacking things on a bulletin board implies longevity, something I’ve never exactly been great at. I moved to this sleepy town on the gulf coast to study a group of bottlenose dolphins inhabiting the bay here. It’s miles away from home in San Francisco, but I suppose that’s what comes with being a biologist who studies migratory marine mammals. You inadvertently turn into a wanderer of sorts. Living a semi-nomadic lifestyle has it’s perks. I’ve had the opportunity to research unheard of whales in the Caribbean, live on boats in frigid waters studying orcas, and come face-to face with blue whales and other behemoths of the sea.
But, as I sit here, I can sense a change coming. Something different. A turn in the tides, a tectonic shift of magnitude that I can feel down deep in my bones. Who knows what is ahead, but now feels like a good time to start documenting it all. And so… it begins.