gaeln9796: (icon science_NASA)
...knows that I have a 'thing' for all things NASA.jpg
And not just because my father worked there throughout my formative years. I just like NASA .

For instance, they find interesting and fun ways to involve the public in their adventures in space exploration.
               Case in point, waaaaay back in 1995 or so, I came across, and no, I don't remember how, signature postcards addressed to the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) located almost locally, mid-way between here and LA, at the California Institute of Technology, that if they were returned in a timely manner would become part of a golden disc of collected signatures that would be included onboard the Cassini spacecraft on its journey to Saturn.

This golden disc, along with its over 205,000.engraved signatures, would eventually meet its demise by plunging into the planet itself. In some far off and distant future, I could barely imagined, the signatures of my mom, who actually died just before Cassini launched in 1997, my dad, who died ten years later, and me and my then husband of 10 years, 30 now, would all burn up in Saturn's atmosphere thereby, in my mind, allowing us to become a part of the very composition of Saturn itself.

After its highly successful 20 year journey, Cassini is now orbiting between Saturn's inner-most ring and the planet’s surface and will tomorrow, Friday September 15, 2017, meet its demise with a slow and controlled descent into Saturn's atmosphere. For me, this is bittersweet because I have been able to imagine all this time, my parents signatures traveling through space. Mine and David's too, and tomorrow that ends.

Still, tomorrow we become, in a way, a part of Saturn and that is pretty, pretty cool too. So, thank you NASA for allowing us to journey along with you in such a personal way. I am in your gratitude .And Cassini, you will be missed.

If you want more info, follow the link to The Grand Finale Tool Kit and do a bit of exploring yourself.


gaeln9796: (icon art_camera)
I haven't posted any 'just photos' since like March or something so, since I have a couple floating around cluttering up the space on my deaktop, I think I will. And in no particular order. Well, alright, some order is involved.

We ventured forth into downtown San Jose one evening to see The Book of Mormon and while on our way to the theater, we passed by what I think is a lovely view of the Guadalupe River Parkway which is three miles of winding river and parklands running through our fair city. Biking, running, walking all that healthy stuff is done within it. Before the parkway, when it was just a river, it would flood, especially in the downtown area, frequently. No more. The parkway not only makes the environs around the river more beautiful and useful, but more safe as well.

My take on the eclipse, little dancing half-mmons on the ground. Me included!!

These candles represent the Great Balckout of August 2017 which lasted a nerve-wracking 10 HOURS, from 6pm to 4am. How we made it through I'll never know. And honestly, if it hadn't been for my fully-charged Kindle this night could have ended very differently.
              Saturday's temp, indoors, outdoors, a day I, personally, zombie-ed through with only the vaguest of recollections remaining. Weird how that can happen.

gaeln9796: (icon words_meme)
5 things you’ll find in my bag:
Wallet_Keys_Auto registration_Phone_Reusable bag

5 things you’ll find in my bedroom:
Holiday books_Clothes_Aaron's Mother's Day cards on display_Some of my favorite framed things (my father's drawings, his mother's needle point)_Some of my more breakable collectables

5 things I’ve always wanted to do:
Publish a children's book (working on it)_Live in New York (not working on it)_Live high up in a tall tall and modern building_Take my family to Europe_See my drawings in a gallery

5 things that make me happy:
Reading_Doing events with my family_My bookclub_Drawing_Finding sane voices in an otherwise insane country

5 things I’m currently into:
My Mission101_A udemy course called The Ultimate Drawing Course_Reading The Ice and Fire series_Working on my kid's book

5 things on my to-do list:
Today's list includes, but is not limited to:
          Prune back 2 agapanthus by driveway_Write an entry in Aaron's journal_Make an entry to online journal (see this)_Do speed drawing (this is sketching for 30 mins using only a #2 pencil & an eraser form life or photos)_Dust den tables & clean under den sofa & chair cushions

Now you!!

And done is done **
gaeln9796: (icon personal_us)
          Before_Our old old, years old Nandina and Aagapanthus. The 2 Nandina grew too big over the course of 15 years, although the drought had finally wrecked them, and the 4 Aagapanthus were basically over taken by them. The catus came with the house and, having started to totally decay, was discarded
                    So, we took heavy equipment to them and within a half hour, all 5 were basically gone. At least above ground.
                               It took quite a while longer to have them gone below ground but eventually we had a new canvas to work with.
                                        Our most local nursery, Summerwinds, was/ is having a sale, they're sadly closing our location, so we got very good deals on the replacement plants, 3 Ruby Stella Hemerocallis, 1 Petite Plaum Crape Myrtle, it grows about 5 feet high and 4 feet wide, and 3 other lower growing plants that I forget what are. All 3 types were chosen for their sun and drought tolerance and, natually, their textural differences.

Afer they've grown in a bit, I'll post another photo.
Below I'm just throwing in a couple of photos of our walkway because I think it looks quite nice :)

gaeln9796: (icon personal_two woman talking)
To celebrate the day, Aaron and I both wore red and we both had our six-month checkup at our women-run dentist's office, a fact which had never really occured to me before :) Kind of cool!!
#HerVoiceIsMyVoice: Celebrate the Women Who Inspire Us Every Day.

enjoy be you man or woman!!
gaeln9796: (icon interests_ideas)
So, in an effort, which really hasn't settled in yet, to get organized, Aaron and I decided to add more form and thus function, to our day. He's not taking classes this semester, I asked him not to and instead help me a couple of BIG projects of mine, which could be a recipe for disaster or at least for extreme laziness. So, starting with notes jotted down on paper to sticky notes on poster board to, finally, everything entered on Google Calendars, which automatically updated my cell thank you very much, we think we are on the right track.
          Well, I use Google Calendar while Aaron uses VieMinder.

 Isn't my week stunningly symetrical??
gaeln9796: (icon personal_us)
This is the finished version of The New York Times puzzle I mentioned a while back, the front page of President Obama's second inaguration, that I purchased fro Aaron for Christmas. Because it was special-made it did take a while to arrive to us. Aaron and I put it together but most Aaron did :) Gotta lay praise where praise belongs. And it hurts, looking at this family, knowing what this man's presidency will bring and then remembering, realizing where we are now. Polar opposites, from class to crass. This too shall pass, right?

gaeln9796: (icon interests_joy of cooking)
What a wild ride, man!! Two months and FOUR baked goods. Be still my beating heart :)
As you will not recall in Baked Goods Post Numero Uno we made Eggnogg Bread and Alex's Corn Muffins.
Now, Magic Muffins and Indian Spice Trail Muffins which, as you may have noticed, look basically the same :)

Below left are Magic Muffins and can handily be found on the side of a box of Gourmet all the way :)
And honestly, so so easy and so so good apparently, because they were gone in three or so days. Half were little for snaking, half were normal for dinner.
          While below right are Indian Spice Trail Muffins which beyond chopped pecans and in living up to their name, include ground cinammon, nutmeg and cloves.
          What next?? What next? I can never know :)

gaeln9796: (icon personal_us)
It seems like ever since we moved here, but probably not, around this time of year, large, pointy white tents sprout up right off our 85 freewy at the Taylor Street Bridge singnaling the yearly arrival of the circus!!!
The tents as seen from ground level.

Terrific advertising because every year at least once during a drive-by, David has said, 'Ya know, we should do that some day'. And every year I conveniently forget because I'm imagining major traffic problems getting out, if not in, and I don't want to deal. But this year, feeling benevolent, I gather-up the required information, and after asking for and recieving my fam's go-ahead, I bought tickets for Cirque du Soleil's Luzia.
          And am I glad I did!! Below a pic of the gift store with happy souvenir-shoppers.

Of the show itself, it is a joyful celebration of Mexico. I compelled myself not to live through the camera. I did take a couple though :) Gotta prove I was there, am I right? Below, as the tent fills up,

The narrative, of a hard-luck guy who finds his way, takes place at a beach resort in 1930s Mexico with a muscle man, a juggler, a contortionist, bathing beauties, and tropical 'birds', all underscored by gorgeous music, and much dancing and singing.
more photos under the cut )
And one final photo, also with waterfall because I loved the waterfall and I'm so glad others were able to get a decent photo of it. The two women spun and spun in their hoops making something you know is very difficult look so fluid and beautiful.

Attend if you can especially if you, like us, had never seen a Cirque du Soleil production before.

gaeln9796: (icon place_SJ)
Our local museum, the aptly named San Jose Museum of Art, hosts of monthly, Wendesday at nnon, hour-long Luncheon Lecture series each of which is tied into one of their current exhibitions. Aaron and I have been attending these fairly regularly of recent months, three I think in the past four months all tied to the exhibition Beauty_Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial.
Last week's was Textile in Fashion and Beyond. Presented by Matt Gerring, instructor in the School of Fashion Merchandising, Academy of Art University, San Francisco who talked about trends in fabrics and fibers. Below: The 'crowd', the speaker, the museum -the old section and the new with sculpture.

Aaron, characteristically, took notes. His favorite takeaway:
Fashion, like other visual arts, allows us to find meaning in our own bodies, interactions, wider cultures and to explore beauty on an intimate level.
Not unreasonable that this should ressonate with a transmale :)

Mine: (And I'll explin in another post why this idea ressonates to me )
Beauty is an legitimate way to fight authoritarianism.


Oh yeah!!!

Jan. 29th, 2017 05:43 pm
gaeln9796: (icon political_not my president)
As per the Daily Kos & The Hill

ACLU Receives $19M In Donations, And 150,000 New Members, Since Saturday!
We've been members for years so we aren't part of 150,000 new members but I did donate yesterday so we are a part of the $10M. If you aren't either, you might want to consider donating or, even better, joining because it is these people, these lawyers who are going to protect true America values from Not-My-President Trump's sick form of racism, religious intolerance, and sexism.and help prove to the world who we really are, not blind-followers but decent human beings who care about diversity, refugees, and civil rights. IMO

gaeln9796: (icon personal_heart)
So, way back at the end of last year, I posted a Resolutions List, which can happily still be found here, wherein one resolution under PRESENTATION was, and I quote:
Find a signature item to add color & whimsy to wardrobe (ie: break out the tons of old 50s jewelry, especially necklaces & bracelets I already own)

One of my lovely friends, [ profile] lisa_thecat asked about the jewelry, requesting a photo so, thinking that would be fun, I dragged out my jewelry finding this.

I had actually organized the whole of it last year getting rid of a bunch but still, a mess and never worn because of that. Feeling inspired, I went online and ordered six cute little tie hangers, coated with that weird velvet stuff for friction, which took forever to arrive. But arrive they did. And, with suggestions by Aaron, the stuff is now sorted and hung and attached to a bedrrom wall so I can finally post a pic, or two, for Lisa.

This is everybody.
Pins. Sortof ethnic necklaces. Sortof bling necklaces. Semi-valuable, but not really, necklaces. Bracelets
And finally what Lisa asked to see, my Grandmother Inez's's and my mother Mary's costume necklaces, mainly from the 50's, with a couple of them added by me over the years.

The little basket in the top photo went to Goodwill and the little baggies went to recycle.
Thank you lisa_thecat for requesting a photo. This probably wouldn't have gotten done otherwise and I'm so glad it has.

gaeln9796: (icon personal_two woman talking)
When I estimated in my head how many would be involved in Bay Area March, I thought maybe 50,000.
Estimates are:
100,000 in San Francisco
60,000 in Oakland
25,000 in San Jose
A bit more than I thought :)

Aaron, Katie, Cindy, & me above and everyone else below. Well, a tiny tiny bit of everyone else belw :)

gaeln9796: (icon interests_joy of cooking)
I am NOT a baker, I'm only just barely a cook. Still, Aaron and I have decided to become bakers in 2017. Or, at least, for 2017 :) Consequently, I hope, periodically, to post photos of our attempts, our successful attempts like the eggnogg bread, recipe from me, and the corn muffins, recipe from Alex ashmedai, pictured below. We also tried a couple of baked goods that went bad so, no photos of those and Indian Spice muffins that came out great but that I forgot to photograph :(
          My hope is to try a couple of different recipes per month, breads, muffins, cookies, focusing on the seasons.

I know that to most of you this is No Big Deal, a part of everyday life but for me, for us, it really is.

gaeln9796: (icon interests_joy of cooking)
I am NOT a baker, I'm only just barely a cook. Still, Aaron and I have decided to become bakers in 2017. Or, at least, for 2017 :) Consequently, I hope, periodically, to post photos of our attempts, our successful attempts like the eggnogg bread, recipe from me, and the corn muffins, recipe from Alex [ profile] ashmedai, pictured below. We also tried a couple of baked goods that went bad so, no photos of those and Indian Spice muffins that came out great but that I forgot to photograph :(
          My hope is to try a couple of different recipes per month, breads, muffins, cookies, focusing on the seasons.

I know that to most of you this is No Big Deal, a part of everyday life but for me, for us, it really is.

gaeln9796: (icon holiday_angel_b&w)
Late in December, we took a little drivey-drive up to The City and after dining at
Tommy's Joint, we arrived at our final destination, Union Square, a shopaholic's dream which, while lovely year-round is even lovelier at Christmas-time. Below are a few of the photos I took as we wondered relatively aimlessly amongst the many shoppers.
Down the up staircase at William Sonoma which is, in this case, four or five stories, I forget, of terrific kitchen stuff.
A photo of the Neiman Marcus Christmas tree taken up toward their entryway's glass dome.
Taken down towards Macy's escalators which number five in this photo.

And, as I always seem to do when we go there & I post about it, I include a photo of the St. Francis Hotel which is where David & were married :)

gaeln9796: (icon personal_us)
Just like we always spend Thanksgiving Day morning watching
And then spend the afternoon watching

we also always spend New Year's morning watching the
before spending the first weekend in January at the
checking out the old, like this Car-of-the-Future from the 1960s
the fast, like this lovely Mazda
and finally, the sleek, like this I-don't-even-know what

In closing, I leave you with a pic taken in haste of our downtown at night with David, in the left bottom corner with Aaron not visible next to him, contemplating when the light might change because just across Santa Clara Street, with all the cars going vroom vroom, on San Pedro Square is the Cajun restaurant where we wish to dine. Actually, The Spaghetti Factory was our first choice but there was a two hour wait so, that really was a no-go.

gaeln9796: (icon interest_movies_film)
So, I wake up too early this morning, 6am-ish, and having nothing better to do, started flipping through ideas in my mind. One thing we've been trying to do is bring a few more layers to the holidays and although this year we have done that pretty well, I rrealized that something was still missing...movies.

During my kidhood, we always watched 'Christmas' movies which meant anything from It's A Womderful Life to The Wizard of and realizing that we aren't, mainly probably because we don't own any having just Rise of the Guardians, which I love, and Patrick Stewart's A Christmas Carol, I decided that we should get us some.
The question became, by 6:15am, how to remedy this, how to get us some more. Well, buy some, right? I decided to add A White Christmas and then thought it might be nice, and inclusive, to see what David and Aaron would like to add. Satisfied, I went on to other pressing ideas and problems until it became a reasonable time to arise, around 8am-ish.

Fast forward to 9am, I explained to Aaron the situation to get his contribution which was The Nightmare Before Christmas, to be viewed at Halloween, and How the Grinch Who Stole Christmas plus It's A Wonderful Life for well...Christmas. I explained to David the situation to get his contribution and he offered his favorite from his kidhood, Laurel & Hardy's The March of the Wooden Soldiers.
By 9:30am they were all ordered and by 10am confirmed by amazon. It's almost too easy and yet, I feel strangely satisfied by this whole process. Come up with an idea, run it by mi familia for their input, and a couple of hours late, it's a fait accompli!! Cool :)

gaeln9796: (icon holiday_christmas)
...doing them became a thing.

And so, as a present for him for Christmas last year, I got us a puzzle which we just now finished putting together.

The especially cool thing about this puzzle is, while it may look pretty boring, it is in fact our neighborhood with Aaron pointing at our very own little house amongst the slew of others. North of our house is our local mall, Princeton Plaza and just a couple of blocks south, though hard to see, a river does run through it, the Guadalupe. It's the suburbs, baby!!
        This year, it now having become tradition, I got Aaron another, a puzzle,from uncommonGoods featuring any past front page of the New York Times. He chose, good democrat that he is, November 7, 2012, the headline being when Barack Obama was reelected. It's on its way to the above-referenced house even as we speak. Should we eventually get it done, I will post a pic :)



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