a left-eyed girl

living in a 2 dimensional world

Archive for October 2008

Basil overdose.

with 11 comments

After we moved to the new place, I decided to grow things in our quite narrow backyard. Since we tend to move around a lot, I figured that container gardening for herbs and vegetables was probably better so that we could move them with us, and that I could try to grow some wildflowers directly into the dirt. I didn’t really know much about planting and growing things, so I went out to the store and bought some pots, seed packets, and a big bag of dirt. I set to tilling the intended plot of dirt for the flowers and filled the pots with dirt and seeds.

Silly amateur gardener me, I planted an entire packet of seeds per pot. I had no idea how many seeds would grow if I put them in the dirt, so I worked out some probability and decided that putting an entire packet of seeds in there would guarantee that something would grow. Well, probability worked against me when it came to the basil plant, and a ton of them sprouted and started to grow in the small pot. I only found out that they had surpassed the pot capacity when I tried to move the pot and found that the roots had somehow found the dirt underneath the pot and rooted directly into the ground. Snap snap snap, it went as I tried to pick up the pot to move it one day.

So what was an noob gardener with zero experience to do? “Separate them out,” my friend Jeff told me. He might as well have been trying to tell me what to do via semaphore, but I dutifully looked it up on the internets and decided to try this magic thing called “separating.” Turns out, it’s just the term for taking a clump of plants, separating them into individual plants, and replanting them. So that’s exactly what I did, and I ended up with a bunch of basil plants growing like weeds in the back yard. That made me pretty happy!

After faithfully watering and cooing to the plants (yes I talk to them, shut up) for several months, I decided that maybe I should try eating them now that fall is upon us. Lo and behold, I find out that basil is only an annual plant, and it will die at the end of the season. Oh no! This means that I can’t keep growing the basil all winter and letting them take over the entire back yard like I intended (crazy me never meant to actually EAT any of it).

And this ridiculously lengthy exposition leads me to my “problem” today. What shall I do with all this basil? I asked a few friends and it seems that the resounding answer is “thou shalt make pesto.” Having never made pesto before in my life, I’m looking forward to figuring out what’s in it and how to make it.

Does anyone else have other suggestions as to what to do with all my basil?

Written by Reese

October 21, 2008 at 10:39 am

Residual Self Image.

with 8 comments

Anyone who has gone through some kind of physical change can certainly agree: the residual mental self image you tote around in your head takes a while to change to match your physical appearance. Memory and mental image are strong forces that are difficult to change. The body is quite malleable and can adapt to new circumstances (like starting an exercise routine), while the mind is a whole other hurdle altogether.

One of my good friends has told me that I have really nice legs, but I have a hard time convincing myself that he’s right. It’s that pesky residual self image I have that tells me that I do not have nice legs and I should not be showing them off. Lately, it’s been getting a little easier to wear skirts that end above my knees simply because my friend’s compliments have given me the confidence to do it. It’s as if I depend on the fact that someone other than my brain has said that I look nice, so therefore, I must look nice. I could always argue with myself and tell myself that he’s simply confused and is seeing things, but I chose to take him at his word. Why else would he tell me that I have nice legs, unless I actually did?

I still find myself surprised at how I look in photos and even more surprised when people tell me I look good. I know that it’s only a matter of time before my mind catches up with my actual appearance, but I keep wanting to hurry up the process. Ha, I suppose that the nice compliments I get from time to time help a lot and keep my mind aware that it’s not entirely there yet. It’s not like I have low self-esteem or anything; in fact, it’s probably the opposite! Either way, it’s just nice to hear compliments from people on things that I never used to be complimented on.

Written by Reese

October 19, 2008 at 11:28 am

Posted in on being fitter

Upped the mileage.

with 4 comments

Before the trip to NY and Boston, I took a bit of a break from running. I ran out of motivation, and I got really busy with other fun stuff that involved seeing friends and tasks for work. After we returned to the Bay Area, I decided to get back into running, especially after I noticed that my thighs were losing the muscle definition that I’d worked so hard for. And thus, I decided to rededicate myself to running on a regular basis. I set a schedule for myself, and I plotted out 2-3 different running routes so that I wouldn’t get bored. It’s amazing how different a running route feels even when you are running the same course but in reverse direction. It’s like a whole new route!

I’ve been running about 3 miles three times a week for 3 weeks now, and just last week I decided it was time to start increasing my mileage per run. Following the magic 10% increase rule (increase 10% of distance or time), I decided to add another 0.2-0.3 mile to my running route. Of course, this required plotting out more routes (thank you, Google maps) and soon I had another new route to test out.

Oh wait… a bit more background information before I continue…

My old running route used to be around campus. I would go twice around and that would be approximately 3 miles to and from my house. Needless to say, it got boring after a while, especially because I was going the same route all the time and I never even changed up the direction I ran. That’s probably why I got really bored with running outdoors. Anyway, when I first started running around the campus, I couldn’t go for more than a block or two without stopping for a break. I used to be really good on the treadmill, but it’s a lot harder to run the same distance outdoors!

My brand new running route has me doing a single loop around the campus before heading off into the residential neighbourhood for another large loop. What’s been really nice is that I can now run a lot further than I used to around the campus without taking a walk break! Ha… it’s funny because I never really noticed if I improved my running skills or not, but apparently things ARE getting better even if I’m not paying attention.

Good times…

Now that I’ve gone for my 3.3 mile run, it’s time for some really tasty tamales from Lucy’s Tamale Factory. We tried them yesterday and they are AMAAAAAAAAZING. I think I’ll get the jalapeno & cheese and sweet corn tamales today. Well, maybe one of the chicken ones too. Maybe… God they’re so good…

One last thing… I dropped the Mister off at the airport early this morning for his business trip. Four days of me-time all to me-self! Yay… This probably means I’ll be eating a lot of the fruit I bought at the farmer’s market yesterday, and also having more tamales… Who knows, maybe I’ll try to perfect my pan-seared ahi tuna with curried quinoa recipe.

Written by Reese

October 12, 2008 at 2:21 pm

Posted in eating, on being fitter

One size happier.

with 10 comments

You know those commercials on TV that have “One Size _____” where you enter some neat little adjective. Of course, I don’t watch nearly enough TV to know what company uses that advertising scheme, but I’m sure that one of you out there might know. Right… I’m also too lazy to Google it myself, so there it is.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about those commercials and what kinds of adjectives I would use in the blank space. Hmm.. I would say that I’m definitely One Size Fitter, One Size Happier, One Size Stronger, One Size More Capable. I’m not even sure that there’s one word that can possibly describe how I feel now that I’ve lost all that weight that was dragging my body down.

Right now, I am a size 12. Now, that is pretty large compared to some other girls (you skinny bitches totally rule), but I’ve lost almost 10 sizes compared to what I was wearing 1.5 years ago. I’m not sure why, but size 12 was something I used to strive for. It’s the size that my mom wore when I was growing up and she had a bit more meat on her bones (she’s now a lot leaner thanks for working out and a much healthier diet). I always thought my mom was beautiful and strong when I was a kid (I still think she rocks the clock). Size 12 just seemed to be a good idea, and it was something of an ideal that I held in my mind.

A few months back, I finally hit size 12 at Old Navy (which is actually a fake size 12 since they size their clothing larger for some vanity purposes), and I felt pretty damned good. It made me glow, but it was also a bit of a cheap victory since I knew that the rest of the world did not follow Old Navy sizes and that I was still a 14 in other brands. It was when I finally made it to size 12 in H&M that I admitted true victory to myself. Ha. I’m not sure why I thought H&M was a true test of whether or not I was size 12, but it just felt like a good thing to me. Maybe it’s the whole idea of a European brand sizing things down, so that if I was a size 12 there, then maybe I was a size 12 anywhere else.

I guess if I dropped to size 10, I would still be pretty happy. I’m still waiting for my body to even out and figure out what size is healthy for my lifestyle and activity level. Like a typical engineer, I believe that the system will reach steady state at some point, depending on the input and output. Ha. SUCH A NERD.

Ha.. this is SO vain of me to just write about this, but I just wanted to share with the world how much this physical change is affecting my mood and attitude about life. I really feel younger, happier, more energetic, etc. Ha. Next blog entry will be less self-centred. Promise!!

Written by Reese

October 9, 2008 at 11:48 am

Posted in on being fitter

Just hanging out

with 5 comments

Well, more like hanging up, as in hanging up photos on the wall!

ShutterBudd is doing an art show and we finally hung everything up on the wall at the two venues yesterday. Of course, I only took film photos, but I did manage to take ONE photo with my phone. It turned out a bit craptastic, but you get the idea.

I would like to present “Reese’s Ingenious Hanging System For Photos”:

There we go. It’s a super crappy photo from my phonecam, but you get the general idea. We had to hang two sets of six photos on these two walls (the yellow one here and the red one to the left). Since we are planning to do more than one show, we needed a horizontally adjustable system since we won’t always have the photos in the same orientation for every show. And this is where my genius-ness came in handy. I decided to use a rail system that lets the photos slide back and forth and ended up perusing a number of websites looking for the perfect hardware (or I was going to make it myself somehow) and ended up buying these kitchen organisers from Ikea. I also got these little hooks with it and attached the frames to the hooks with a few loops of wire. Other than hanging the rails on the wall, the wire loops on the backs of the frames were the most labour intensive work we had to do; needless to say, I ended up doing that part since I’m pretty handy with wirework.

A few hours later, we had our display system up at the two venues, and I have to say that it looks pretty damned cool. It looks damned professional with the rail system and the little printed placards with the title and artist’s name. Beautiful. So worth it, and the whole operation for less than $200 for 24 photos in two venues. Not bad!

You can go check out the full display and the photos at Sweet Corner and Zpizza, both located on Castro Street in Mountain View. If you’re in the area, you can even come meet me this Sunday at the opening reception from 1-3pm at either of those venues. I’ll be floating back and forth between them, and I’ll be wearing a ShutterBudd polo shirt. I’m the cute one with the overly-friendly temperament.

Written by Reese

October 2, 2008 at 10:11 am

Posted in work

On the street

with 4 comments

And so my life as a street photographer wannabe continues.

This past weekend, Darren and I went to the Folsom Street Fair, a big huge gay/leather/fetish street fair. Yeah. Right up my alley! There were plenty of exhibitions going on in the street, including a guy suspended in a harness getting fingered, and lots and lots of people wearing fetish gear. It was overall, pretty damned neat. Neat-o, Jacko!!

I was a total fool and brought my Hassy with me, which means that I couldn’t get some of the shots I wanted to get, but I did get some very lovely ones all the same. There are ones that a bit more R-rated, but I decided to only post the ones that were less so. Well, that’s only if you consider naked man-butts to be PG-13 as I do. Well, I still haven’t posted any photos of naked man-butt, so I guess you prudes may continue to peruse my blog, unless you find my writing offensive.

So for those of you who may be interested, here are a few photos taken this Sunday from the Folsom Street Fair. I’m horridly behind on developing my B&W, but somehow the colour shots got done right away!


Hello, nurse Together

Take my picture! Party of one

Pinched A pink lady

Written by Reese

October 1, 2008 at 10:47 am

Posted in shooting