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My Apartment: Welcome

So I've now been in my apartment for over 6 months... I know I know, and I haven't shared it. I'm living in a amazing duplex just a block from my former house. The house itself was built in 1910 and I'm on the first floor with all the original detailing.

The entry hall has massive crown molding, the living room has a cove ceiling, and there's beams over head in the dining room. I also have a teeny yellow tile kitchen with original cabinets and sink, and a wood burning fireplace in the dining room (although it hasn't been used in sometime, I probably won't use it). I also love the pocket french doors! The one odd thing is that the bathroom is through the bedroom, but I've lived in a place like that before, so for me it isn't a big deal.

Moving into this place has made me so happy, but it wasn't without it's problems. The house itself was empty for almost a year because of an illness the landlord had, so of course upon move in there were many things not working. They had to get a new (to me) fridge, stove and water heater, along with fixing the main heat.

Since then some of the original pipes have cracked and leaked, and since it's a California house there's no insulation so I can hear my upstairs neighbors and people on the street really well through these wood and plaster walls. Luckily the landlord has been great and helped with it all, any small fixes I've done with rental deductions. This house I just love and it has so much potential... the floors need refinishing to show off their inlays... The back yard and front could use beautiful flowers... the glass pocket doors could be stripped... So much more that I want to do, but I don't own the house. I dream about buying it all the time and bringing this pink building to a glory that it might've never had.

So here are some photos I took before I moved in to give some idea of the place, with it's amazing south light... I'll try to update more and more what I do with each space. I've already furnished the place with great furniture found off the street, craigslist, and from back home, along with all of Mike's instruments and recording stuff. The place definitely has an old vibe with all our used things, which fits the old house.

Thanks for looking!
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Lonely Crafts: Vase Succulant Garden!

Don't let the title make you feel sorry for me. I think lonely crafts can be the best, cause it's better than sitting on your ass watching three hours of reality tv... Adding a craft to the viewing of that reality show make it's alright!

Last year when I was visiting good ole Ohio, my mom and I went on a mandatory flea/vintage/antique shopping spree! Cause you see, vintage on the west coast is maybe from the 70's and costs an arm and a leg. Ohio however, oh Ohio, your cheap prices and thrifting galore. Anywho, we went to the antique barn and I found this four piece set of white Roseville pottery. If you didn't know, which I'm sure you don't unless you're from Dayton, Roseville Pottery was a company started in Ohio in the late 19th cen, but is most famous for their art deco/art nouveau pottery and were part of the early 20th cen arts and crafts movement. I got four matching pieces from the magnolia collection in white... Which I've never seen! My mom and grandma both have Roseville and even my elementary school and highschool had Roseville drinking fountains and tile work.

So I got two small upright vases and a bowl vase with a flower frog. I've found uses for the two small urn like vases, but the bowl was a hard one. I did put fresh flowers in it a few times, but I could never get it to look good, floral arrangements are not my forte. So when one of my coworker's gave me a bag of succulent cuttings I was like "idea!" and decided to do a little succulent garden in the bowl. Using also some of my garden's succulent cuttings I made this nice little garden.

So here's what I did. First put tons of pebbles and rocks on the bottom evenly to help with drainage. Then I used Miracle grow cactus soil, you can also put some carbon between the two layers but I didn't have any sooo... that didn't happen. Then I packed soil into the flower frog which will be in the center of the garden. Then carefully I took clippings, some with roots and some non rooted and put them all over. I also saved a couple plants from dying pots like my cactus. I didn't fill everything in cause hopefully the ground covering succulents will fill it in. And I used a couple plants that needed some love, so it isn't totally gorgeous looking now but hopefully won't die and become more beautiful!

I'm so happy that this bowl vase now is more attention seeking. And doesn't is look great on my Andre Bus Acclaim end table?! I just recently got that table to go with two other Acclaim pieces I own. I definitely need to fill you guys in on my decorating of our apartment!! It's coming together so well, the music/dining room is almost done, and the living room is pretty much done with lot's of plants that I've kept alive now for 7 months! Yay! I just really want to turn into a crazy plant lady! We've also planted a veggie garden in the back, and have a whole entertainment and eating area in the backyard.

Anyhoodles let's see if I can keep up with blogging!
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Whoa Guys

Hey all you sometimes read this blog! I'm heading out on an incredible trip with my boy and I have lots of photos from the past few months to share! I have a craft project, a home improvement, hiking, and decorating our place. I really can't wait to show them all off... in the mean time here's my favorite picture that my friend took at Big Basin this past weekend! Dressed up in old lady khaki shorts glory! And I really love the meta picture :)

Love ya!
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My Tech Job

One reason that I don't blog much, other than being lazy about sitting at my desk, is that I kinda get burnt out at my job. But it's the good burnt out. I absolutely love my job. I work as an interactive designer at the Weather Underground, the first weather website as well as the most concise bringing weather data from not only government sources but local do-it-yourselfers and self proclaimed meteorologists. It's amazing.

We have recently redone the entire site including the outdated '93 logo that was a nod to our namesake, the 60-70s radical left group. Everything was launched the 15th of April and since we're an agile company we're constantly working on it. My team was in charge of the City forecast page, plus the overall experience of the site minus our Wundermap and our social/community pages, ie the photo and blog community. I have learned so much about organizing a SUPER DATA HEAVY site... and I mean super heavy. There were pages that's code hadn't been touch since the early 2000's, which is like 50 internet years.

There's still so much more to do and design, and I'm so happy to be there with such amazing people some who I've become good friends with. It's an absolute blast. It amazing how much was put into this site, the design will continually become refined, but the backend things that were done is just, whoa. The end consumer doesn't really understand how involved this site is behind the curtains. Of course there was a lot of "If it aint broke..." stuff but the site was actually broken, or just being held together by small strings of code. Now the backend is more robust, but we're still working on it, and not just piece-mealing it together which in the long run builds a better product.

Also if you ever watch Silicon Valley on HBO... it's crazy how spot on some of the absurdness of the startup/tech industry is...  

Now if only I found the time... no energy... no ambition... to actually make this blog look presentable. I mean really the kerning in the title font. Absurd.

Now go check out the site, http://www.wunderground.com/, and download our apps!! They're awesome!

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Angel Island - SF Livin'

Now weeks ago a few of my buddies and I took a nice little sail to Angel Island, a state park off of Tiberon in San Francisco Bay. It's a pretty common place we sail to always rewarding us with a deserted island (since the last ferry leaves at 4). This time as we neared we could hear the barking of seals playing in the bay that we usually anchor in. Lucky for us they were super playful, one even came up to the boat and did a backflip for us! Sadly I don't have an awesome photo but I have some pretty good ones... you guys have an imagination :)



After some hotdogs and burgers, we made our way to the old abandoned military buildings along the shore. Some you can walk into but the stairs are knocked out so you can't go upstairs. Another building you can get into by jumping and pulling yourself up onto a second floor ledge. I myself would not do that, so while other people went on a head and made fun of me, I walked around the building surveying the land. And lo and behold one of the locked doors was open... so I sneaked in a scared the others. Naturally.




This history of Angel Island is quite spectacular and also somewhat depressing. Starting out as a base it soon became the "Ellis Island" of the west, hosting immigrants from russia, asia, and sometimes europeans. Unfortunately the times weren't the best and there was strong racism towards many asian immigrants many times quarantining them and forcing them into small living quarters sometimes for years waiting to be allowed entry to the US. None of these photos are of the immigration buildings which are on another side. These are all part of the massive fort on the island, Ft. McDowell, specifically the East Garrison. These buildings were mainly occupied during WWII since San Francisco was a major staging area for the Pacific theater.



I go back often and this isn't the first post, and I'm sure it won't be the last. We go there often and it's a definitely favorite of living in the bay area. If you're in SF ever you should definitely visit, it's not as common as alcatraz but a billion times more beautiful, and there's cute little deer living there too... So that's awesome.


- Lauren