14 December 2015


 Purikura: A photo booth is a vending machine or modern kiosk that contains an automated, usually coin-operated, camera and film processor. Today, the vast majority of photo booths are digital. (Wikipedia) 
Warning:  Lots of pictures for this post...

13 November 2015


It welcomes us all at some point.  I have been kicking this post around for almost a month now.  Wait!  I know I have become quite laggy at posts but this one I seriously had to wait on.

Michelle, I just got your advent.  I am glad you got my post cards.

Will, I had a great time visiting you and the Mrs'.

Yu, thanks for showing us around Tokyo.  It was a blast.

Cameron, Yuan and Katherine.... I hope to catch you on one of my travels or one of yours.

Before I delve into my trip to South Korea and Japan (future posts... fo'real).  I do have one thing to say:  My aunt passed. Some people may be thinking, oh her aunt that's sad.  It is sad especially since my aunt raised me from infancy through my teen years.  She was the one to rush me to the hospital when I had a seizure.  She was the one that got called to the principal's office when I was bad.  She was my mom away from my real mom.

28 September 2015

I promise I am not dead....

Or I wouldn't be writing this right now.  I have been quite busy with:
  1. Foreign exchange hosting.
  2. Work as usual.
  3. School, yeah I am not doing it for a degree... far better, for money.
  4. Training for my run.
  5. Planning my trip across the Pacific.
  6. Trying not to murder my husband's child.

Not dead and not the race I have been training for.

18 June 2015


School's out for summer.  Which means two things, lots of work to do.  And no students or staff on campus.  With the exception of a few people that work through summer or are working summer school, the school is MINE. 

Before school let out, I asked the principal if I could use the shower in the Girl's PE office in the morning.  She said no problem!

This is good for me because I want to see if I can couple my training with a commute to work.  Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday my training dictates 4-6 mile runs.  The high school is just a tad over 3 miles away.  So if I plan my route properly I can run to work instead of training on the treadmill.

I would have to walk home or plan for public transportation.  I started this week and getting to work is the easy part.  Getting home, I have only managed to walk home once.  Yesterday my co-worker drove me home. 

In an effort to kill as many birds with one stone as I can.  I also joined a fitness challenge that runs through the middle of July.  Click here if you are interested in my goal to make money for the local humane society.  All of this is fine and dandy but I think I may be a little under prepared for my commute.

I leave the house when it is still dark.  I have blinking arm bands that I use so I can be visible to others.  And I ran down a route that I have walked on numerous times; but only in daylight hours.  During dark time there were a few areas that I felt a little uncomfortable running through.  So I modified my route.

The modified route is highly traveled by vehicles and brightly lit.  My biggest complaint is the driveways making my ankle twist, though only slightly, repeatedly because the tarmac is was not wide enough to share with vehicles.  I don't need to create a repetitive motion injury situation while I am trying to train. 

So I need to reassess my route a little more.  I have found a route that looks a bit more approachable in terms of avoiding a sports injury... but I may incur a different type of injury.  I have turned to a few running blogs and a few suggestions have been made to fend off an attacker: pepper spray/mace, knife and gun.

Pepper spray sounds like a good option.  In theory it sounds good to me.  Aim, spray and run like the wind!  But that means the attacker will most likely get away to have his try at another victim at a later date.  Or potentially me again!  Ugh the thought gives me the heebie jeebies!  I would most likely go for a gel formula so I don't have issues with wind blowback.  And maybe a UV reactive one, just in case I am able to get to safety and can call the cops.

I have the right to bear arms but I kinda don't want to.  I would be a shitty gun owner... cleaning and maintenance and such.  Ugh, I have a tedious time of keeping my car in proper working order and I use that often.  So I don't want to have to deal with the maintenance, weight while running, chafing from a holster or killing someone. 

Maiming on the other hand I guess I am okay with that.  But I am petite and knife may incur the wrath of an attacker and used against me.  Also there is always the old adage: don't bring a knife to a gun fight.

I've read that the knife/spray combo is best.  You spray, stab, run away and live to tell the tale.  Then you can call the cops and let them know the person glows under black light and may seek medical attention.  It's all a bit nerve wracking to think about all of this.  But I think if I have the proper shoes to avoid injuring my self, the proper attire to keep me visible to others... I need something to protect myself in case of attempted rape/murder.

Any suggestions?

Tomorrow is my birthday, I think I may have to at the very least gift myself some pepper spray.... so I can live to my next one.

05 June 2015


Almost a month late on this post. Not for a lack of time but just waiting.  This year Andy's dad and I had to make him call his mother on Mother's Day.  Few and further between are the requests for him to call home.  I can only assume lack of interest.  For a while, when he would get into trouble or misbehave he would ask to call home, I assume to complain about how unfair life is.  He has since gotten over that nonsense.

25 May 2015

My Own Private Idaho

 It's been a while that I have been looking for something.  And today I think I finally found it.  I had been running quite sometime for health; physical and mental.  It really was doing the trick until I passed the 9 mile mark.  

07 May 2015

Reservoir Canyon Trail

 I was under the impression that this hike was a 5.35 mile round trip hike.  Maybe it is if you stop right at the little trail marker with the stones like pictured above.  I will blame the longer hike I took on walking along the ridge a bit.  Reservoir Canyon Trail is located in the outskirts of San Luis Obispo.

20 April 2015

Valencia Peak

 It's been a while since I have taken to local trails.  If feels nice to have started hiking again.  It helps me build strength in a weak ankle that needs to stay strong.  I am still training for my half marathon but the hiking really is giving me motivation to stick to my training.

02 April 2015


I'm not gonna lie and say I don't like Raku.  The process is fun; I mean come on you get to play with fire!  And it serves well for people who have no patience.  After you bisque fire a piece you are ready to glaze and Raku.  Instead of waiting a week for your piece to go through the final firing, you wait... maybe tops: an hour.  But I really don't like that it is not functional.  Or rather not as functional as I would want something to be.  Heat, oxygen and sun can cause your Raku fired pieces to fade, so a candle holder or outdoor potted plant is out.  And I had to treat everything I made with shellac to help keep further oxidation from occurring. It's also not water tight, so no vases that hold real flowers.  AND here is the big one, not food safe.  So it's basically something pretty to look at which to me=clutter.  However art is in the eye of the beerholder and I made use of my pieces (well, most of them).

23 March 2015

Pottery Wheel - Semester 2

During my second semester I ended up gifting most of my items.  I hate clutter and I missed the student sale because I went on a cruise to Mexico.  I have always heard handmade gifts are always nice to receive, maybe... maybe not.   I won't be gifting things for xmas again.  I have a few more things to make for people who have requested something and then I may open up shop.  I've been asked a few times if I sell my pieces or have a business card: no on both counts.  Why not?  I really don't feel my stuff is worth it but if people are asking, there has gotta be a market right?  So with a few exceptions, I am going to start selling my goodies.  At least that's what I am saying now.  It depends on my motivation and I don't want to have a supply/demand type situation.  I think it would take the fun and therapy out of it for me.  I may just produce as I have been and then post things up to etsy or a similar type site.  Anyone have thoughts on this?

I also took Raku during my 2nd semester and the pieces are very cool looking but they lack functionality.  I hate things that don't serve a purpose... and to me, art for the sake of art and just looking at it, it's not good enough.  I will be posting my Raku projects in my next post.  All of the pieces below are microwave, dishwasher and oven safe which means they are also food safe; very useful!

***Spoiler Alert:  For hardkoretom, if you don't care for surprises, read on.  If you care, maybe wait a week or so before reading on.  I gotta get myself down to the post office next week.***

20 March 2015

Pottery Wheel - Semester 1

I have been lagging at this post.  And frankly with as much as I have improved I have been hesitant to post it.  But hardkoretom has been waiting to see my work for well over a year.  So this is for you and anyone else that wants to see my early work.  I won't say I am not proud, I am just not too thrilled with my first pieces.

Beware, there are a lot of images.  Not as many as my next post will have.  But one thing I start doing next semester which is really stupid is just giving my crap away.... without photographing it first.  And it's hard to photograph ceramics, I could use some pointers.  Natural light works really well but it's hard to work with the sun, it just does what it wants!

05 March 2015

Patricia Griffin Workshop

For Valentine's Day I didn't head out in search of a crowded, over priced for the night restaurant or whatever it is people think married folk do on Valentine's Day.  Instead I spent the weekend with a group of ladies at a ceramics workshop.  Laura kindly coined it, "Valentine's Weekend Clay Play". Patricia Griffin is a ceramic artist who conducts workshops in a tiny one room school house located in Cambria.

19 February 2015

Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas was our shortest port of call which was unfortunate as I would have liked to have seen more of it.  Not sure how good my experience of Cabo would have been as it had been hit by Hurricane Odile about a month before we got there.  Far off in the distance I could see some of the beach facing property did look pretty sad.  But for the most part Cabo was ready to go for incoming tourists.  

13 February 2015


Our second port of call was Mazatlan.  We all stopped and paused for the obligatory tourist picture.  Our activities for the day involved an estuary tour, a "Mexican Limo" ride along the beach to our lunch time destination followed by lounging on the beach.  And the entire tour had free beer: Tecate.  

02 February 2015

Puerto Vallarta

When we arrived at port there were photographers ready to snap your picture with, I assume, what they want foreigners to portray as an authentic person from each port of call.  I managed to get away unscathed at the first port of call.  My mom, not so lucky.  But after my first dodge attempt I did pose with the family.  It's something to remember the trip by and my mom enjoyed taking the pictures.  At least I thought so.

15 January 2015

Dear Mc Donald's #3,

     I know better than to eat your "meals", I really do.  And I really know that my sweet tooth will be the death of me.  But why would you try to kill me so soon?  I just wanted a simple sugary snack and I chose the relatively safe ice cream cone.  I didn't even get it dipped in chocolate.  I feel like throwing up and as if my stomach is full of hot lava.  Mc Donald's why must you tempt me with your sugary snacks and then try to kill me????  Do you not want me to return and spend my dirty American dollars on what you try to pass off as ice cream?

     I have now decided never to eat ice cream from you ever again.  I will stick to the high price of Ben and Jerry's because I know that it is made out of real milk and not some vanilla flavored powder.  You can keep your nasty sugars! 

     Oh god I wish I could just barf to make this horrible feeling end.  Dear lord I want to throw up so bad.

     Sick To My Stomach Susie

P.S.  Your unsweetened iced tea is starting to taste rancid too!

P.S.S.  I probably have myself to blame for not eating as often as I used to.  My tolerance has gone down and your Mc Fatty sugars destroyed me like tequila destroys many a young adult when they reach legal drinking age.  They want to vomit too.