life: May – month in review


Finished the draft! “Red Dragon” will rest while I review Project 2 and revisit Project 1.

Went to Orlando for a conference, made sure to stop by Harry Potter land.

Went off the [budget] rails (see Orlando, Harry Potter adventure).

Read some very good books, and some ok audiobooks *video review coming in June*

Visited a local animal sanctuary and saw all the creatures I love.

diagon alley universal orlando dragon

peacock and peahen

No video this week because LIFE.

life: the morning after

Happy Wednesday, ya’ll! I’m in a morning after, post-concert daze, but the show Rage + Rapture tour was spectacular. Garbage was a formative part of my rock girl feminist education, and more than lived up to my expectations. Blondie is just classic, and was more than I imagined in a live performance. Even the opening act, Deap Valley, was amazing. One of the best shows I’ve seen in a while.

Rage + Rapture tour. Garbage and Blondie

Rage + Rapture tour. Garbage and Blondie

Rage + Rapture tour. Garbage and Blondie

Rage + Rapture tour. Garbage and Blondie

Rage + Rapture tour. Garbage and Blondie

Rage + Rapture tour. Garbage and Blondie

Rage + Rapture tour. Garbage and Blondie

vlog: the Orlando adventure

My first proper vlog! A little shaky and blurry, but my efforts continue! I tried to film a little of everything, but was so excited and distracted by the magic of Harry Potter, I completely forgot to film during our visit to Universal… there is a wee snippet involving a Pygmypuff adoption ceremony that the boy filmed :). I hope you enjoy the madness of library con and Pottery goodness. And don’t forget to subscribe to my channel if you enjoy my rambly videos.

Also, today marks the second round of my Whole30 “journey,” so I’m back on an exploration of food and flavor. I really need it after my trip (let’s just say there was a lot of sugar and dairy).

after the shenanigans – ALA 2016 and a wizardy adventure

There were books. There was food. There was hot, hot heat. And there was butterbeer! I recorded a very silly vlog during my adventures (to be edited and posted), but here is a glimpse.

Friday night dinner at D-Luxe in Disney Springs…

Saturday morning. Working it.

Waiting for my crew to show up for our poster session. Trying to look proper.

After business, the pleasure begins.

I waited a long time to visit this park; it was so worth it. The experience totally blew my mind. Just perfect.

Out and About: Ichimura Miami-Japan Garden

My mom used to tell me about this little Japanese garden by the beach where there was a huge Buddha statue. Like many of her stories, this was before my time which meant that it was a place I only ever heard of–one of the many near mythical places that she used to go to with my dad when they were courting.

Last year, the bchan and I went to Jungle Island and we noticed that the Miami-Japan garden was right next door to the park. We said we would go one day… and today we did! It was a Labor Day surprise that I wasn’t expecting, and it was a lovely treat during what proved to be a very hot day.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t prepared to go on such an outing, so I left my camera at home and had to rely on my cell phone *for shame*. At least the picture quality is better than that produced by my old phone.

out on the town

Went to see Jim Gaffigan at the Hard Rock last night; the b-chan won tickets (lady luck strikes again! and she brings entertainment). It was my very first stand up show and it was great fun. Yep, he did the Hot Pocket bit, and no, it doesn’t get old. He also imparted some wise words of wisdom… when you are at the gym waiting for the treadmill, just run in place behind the person on the machine 😛 .

After the show, we wandered around the casino and the shops. It’s all very convenient for shoe emergencies (or instances of shoe torture). I now own a cute pair of Roxy flip flops that I must keep Didymus away from, as he loves the taste of fresh flops.

Tonight, we’re off to see Carmen at the Arsht–another pair of free tickets. Hooray for free entertainment! Will avoid torturous shoes this time.

Happenstance does happen

My b-chan and I have been meaning to go to the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Art to view the Norman Rockwell exhibit for months now, but in typical leave-it-to-the-last-minute fashion, we didn’t get around to going until the last day. As it coincided with the Suntrust Sunday Jazz Brunch on Riverfront, we decided to make a day of it and have lunch/brunch before heading to the museum. The Jazz Brunch was lovely, but we didn’t know what to expect and were unprepared to take advantage of the picnic setting. Next time we can make it, I will definitely plan a picnic. We ended up making our way to the Indigo Restaurant at the Riverside Hotel instead. This is the second time we’ve eaten here and the food has always been great. I think it’s quite possibly one of my favorite places to eat on Las Olas. Plus, they bring you a swizzle stick with your latte… how charming is that?

After brunch, we made our way back to the museum, only to find that the line to purchase tickets was circling the block. One of the guys in line compared it to the lines to go on the rides at Disney. As we’re standing in line, this older man approaches us out of nowhere and asks us where we’re from; this is highly suspicious behavior in South Florida where we are all used to rudeness and the like. He’s waving two tickets and tells us that today is our lucky day. We, of course, think scalpers, though he looked too decent for the usual shifty scalper. My b-chan was waiting for the guy to tell us that he would give us his tickets for $XX, but he just tells us that he received the tickets from his wife’s company for free because they are museum sponsors and that we can have them. Skeptical Miamians that we are, we thought he was joking, but he gave us the tickets and walked away laughing, telling his wife that we wouldn’t believe him. The lady behind us was curious to know if they were real too, but we refused to give up our places in line on the chance that they were authentic.

To our utter astonishment, they were.

When we reached the counter, the lady at the ticket booth told us that we could’ve skipped the line and walked right in. She was just as amazed when we told her our story.

So, to the stranger who gave us these tickets… Thank you and sorry we didn’t believe you. 🙂

fruit and Relativity

Every year, the Gables hosts it’s Farmer’s Market and every year, I miss it. Except this year! I finally got to go yesterday and what a treat it was 🙂 . The b-chan and I arrived while the day was still cool, so we got to wander around among the fully laden produce, flower, and food stalls without the usual midday heat. I bought a small pot of Tropical Fruit Honey and a large starfruit for myself, and a coconut for my mom. Next time, I’ll try to go in the early morning so I can have some breakfast or pick up an early lunch. The food all looked delicious, too bad neither of us was very hungry at the moment.

Here is the Market on the corner of Biltmore Way
Gables Farmer's Market

Some wonderfully fragrant teas and spices

Beautiful, blooming orchids
A touch of color

fancy macarons from Le Boudoir

and fresh eggs from the farm
Fresh eggs

After our morning jaunt, we headed off on an hour long drive to Boca to see the “Magical World of M.C. Escher” exhibit at the Boca Raton Museum of Art. Escher is one of my favorite artists; a lot of my work was inspired by his prints when I was in art class, and I have always been fascinated by his tessellations and ability to toy with the viewer’s perception. I was surprised by the breadth of the exhibit and the quantity of prints on display. Many of the pieces were new to me and I really enjoyed seeing a different side of Escher, particularly the Italian landscapes and book prints. The pieces from his office were a neat addition to the exhibit as well, as were the lithograph blocks. My favorite still remains his Three Worlds print, but I loved the Metamorphosis prints and the flower sketches.

The museum also had Mary Cassatt on display, which was a nice treat as Cassatt is one of those artists whose work I’ve never seen in South Florida. The permanent collection also had some interesting works by other artists, so it was a worthwhile trip, though a very long drive.

And the museum has this great teacup and kettle sculpture that made for a nice photo-op 🙂
Cup and Kettle

a lovely day for a garden party

IMG_8341 I finally visited the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens today. I’ve been meaning to visit for years and was sorely disappointed when I didn’t get to go during the Chihuly exhibit a couple of years ago. It was definitely worth the wait. The August heat was dreadful, but the bright day was wonderful for a picnic and photographic excursion. My b-chan learned that the steep entry fee was being waived during Sundays in August, so today was our last chance to visit for free. I hate to admit it, but the $20 entry fee per person has deterred me in the past.

IMG_8322We were able to have a lovely picnic under the shade of a banana tree on the edge of a bubbling rock fall. I prepared all sorts of little finger sandwiches (cucumber cream cheese, avocado and chicken with swiss, and savory meatball with mozarrella) with a side of Sun Chips, fuji apple slices, and strawberry tea with a splash of ginger ale. It was a surprise for the b-chan who expected plain old ham sandwiches and water 🙂 . There was a threat of rain for a few moments, but other than a bit of distant thunder we were able to stay dry… and hot. Oh, was it ever so hot. And steamy.

Some of the plants were not in bloom because of the late season, but we still managed to see some gorgeous flowers and I got a chance to snap some shots. I even chased some butterflies, though I still think they are creepy little bugs that lure you in with their colors.



And I finally got to see some of the Chihuly sculptures! I love colored glass and Chihuly’s has such a wonderfully organic feel to it.




It’s been a lovely weekend, back to the old drudgery tomorrow… or at least back to studying.