Friday, May 31, 2013

Norfolk Excursion

Norfolk and I have a deal. I stay out of it; it doesn't make me get lost. But I had a health sciences librarian certification thing to do at EVMS (Eastern Virginia Medical School) which just so happens to be in Norfolk. I promised Norfolk it would be a quick in-and-out situation; I would take the most direct route from the interstate, and get right back on it at the end of the day. In return, Norfolk allowed me to know exactly where I was the whole time I was there!

It was a two-day class, so after a successful trip to Norfolk yesterday, I got a little cocky today and thought I could stop by a few neat places to take photos. Norfolk guffawed heartily at this plan, and conjured a combination of traffic and parking situations that made those plans impossible to carry out.

TL;DR version: I didn't get all the photos I wanted in Norfolk. But here's what I did get:

The library at EVMS

One of the many beautiful churches in Norfolk; this one was walking distance
from EVMS, so I strolled past at lunch

Remember the Virginia Beach dolphin? Here's a Norfolk mermaid!
I know it's hard to see Clyde under her arm, but it's even harder to see
the Caduceus on her - ahem - chest

Okay, this was my last-ditch effort to get a photo of the ENORMOUS
Carnival cruise ship (what looks like a building on the right)
in the port next to Nauticus (a museum). I tried to park
in the roundabout in front of Nauticus, but there was security guiding people through
because of all the cruise passengers, so I couldn't stop.
So this was from a red light, through the back of my car, further down the road.
I'm sure I'll find another time to go into Norfolk and get photos of the other things I wanted to see (most notably, the battleship at Nauticus, and some of the neater Norfolk mermaids).

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mail Call!

We went to EVMS (Eastern Virginia Medical School) for certification classes for health sciences librarians, but more about that tomorrow, after the rest of the classes. When we got home, I found this in the mail:

A postcard from phoenixfiredesigns' and Anana's visit to DisneyWorld! Thanks, guys!

Monday, May 27, 2013


We had a get-together at Fiance's parents' house last night for Memorial Day weekend. We had a big Costa Rican dinner, and topped it all off by toasting marshmallows and making s'mores!

You can kind of see the bay up there at the top, too. It was a little chilly out when it started to get dark, but the fire was nice and toasty!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mount Trashmore

This is where I wanted to go for the "high places" challenge: the highest point in Virginia Beach... Mount Trashmore!

View from the top, facing Town Center; you can also see I-264 running left-to-right
It's 60 feet high, which is sort of embarrassing to have as the highest point in a city, but our average elevation above sea level is 12 feet. The fence behind Clyde in the photo above encircles a giant state seal (which is REALLY hard to get a good photo of, because it's on the slope and surrounded by bushes).

Looking out at Lake Trashmore off the other side

There's a kids' play area called Kids Cove, and a skate park, and another smaller hill (I think it's called Mount Encore or Encore Hill or something like that). There are also lots of running/walking/biking trails that wind around the park.

There were some people flying kites at the top!
There were also people having picnics and jogging with dogs and whatnot.

Mount Trashmore was opened in 1974, and it is what it sounds like: a landfill. In 1992 they reported that there was a dangerous buildup of methane gas and it could cause a fiery explosion, but that was apparently fixed, since here we are in 2013 still walking around on it.

Looking down the stairs

The last time I went to Mount Trashmore was with my last Little Visitor, Peanut Butter... It was something like 30 degrees that day. Today, it's a little over double that, somewhere in the 60s... MUCH better!


Fiance's dad grows oysters under the dock at the house. Not only are they good for eating (in other people's opinion... I'm not a fan) but they're good for the Bay, because they're little water filters! Fiance's friends J & L are in town for the weekend, so we went out to the dock last night to try to fish. (It was too cold to catch anything, and we only saw a handful of jellyfish and minnows, a teeny tiny blue crab, a heron across the water, two raccoons fighting - which we heard rather than saw - and two guys on a speedboat.)

These are sea grapes, or sea squirts. They grew all over the oyster pod and this rope.
They won't grow above the water line because they're filter animals like oysters. They fill with water
and stay puffed out like this until they dry out or get burst (by stepping on them or
poking them too hard. Ours aren't half as pretty as the photos on Wikipedia.

Clyde and the oyster basket. It's too blurry to tell, but there are quite a few
sea squirts on here, too.

(Same photo with the flash. It was about 9pm so the lighting was less than ideal.)

Some of the oysters that came out of the basket!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Week 6 Challenge: Where's Clyde?

(I skipped last week's challenge, "Numbers," because I had no good ideas, unfortunately.)

This week's challenge is to take a "Where's Waldo?" type photo where you have to hunt for the LV. This one isn't the best, but it serves two purposes...

So, do you see Clyde? (I took a photo of my last LV, Peanut Butter, with this sign, but he was teeny so he fit inside the circle logo on the left...)

That's also the sign for the Portsmouth campus of the school I work at. But I'll only be working at the Portsmouth campus through the end of next week. I'll be using my maximum hours (I'm a part-timer) at the Virginia Beach campus (which means less driving, more money, and more hours in a professional position as opposed to a paraprofessional.)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Star Trek: Into Darkness

We went to see Star Trek: Into Darkness yesterday at Fiance's & my favorite movie theater. (It's the kind where you can order a full meal... but it has little tables between regular movie theater seating, instead of big tables like our Cinema Cafe does.)

You can see that we went to see it in 2D... I don't like 3D very much, except The Hobbit... that was awesome in 3D.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Empty Shelves

All the books are out of the old library! We had a staff day today, and we got a thorough tour of our new library, but I didn't bring my camera to that part, so no photos of that. I did, however, take a few pictures in the old library over lunch:

There will be tons of great photos of the new library in August, when we open!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cat Nap

Gimli, rambunctious kitty that he is, still can't be trusted to be nice to Clyde if they're left alone. So I helped Clyde sneak up behind Gimli while he was napping, to snap a cute photo:

They almost look like friends! (Gimli likes this blanket because he's camouflaged on it when he tucks in all of his white bits.) I retrieved Clyde before Gimli had a chance to "play" with him.

Baby Gift

Today is my swap partner's, PFD's, birthday! And Clyde and I wrapped a present... but unfortunately it wasn't for PFD. My supervisor at the library is having a baby boy! And her baby shower for work was today, but I couldn't make it, so I'm taking her present to her tomorrow.

Want to see what's inside?

Super cute, no? You can get it from ThinkGeek if you want one!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fire in the Library

There was a small electrical fire in the library today! An outlet blew, and shut off ten computers. An electrician was sitting nearby and he stomped out the fire like it was no thang. Then Facilities came to fix it up, popped a new cover on it, and all was well. (We left the computers shut off with "do not use" signs, just to avoid overheating the outlet right away.)

Before we left work, I snapped a shot of Clyde with the culprit:

Looks fine now! Good thing we're moving to a new building at the end of the summer... seems like this one is beginning to turn on us.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Week 4 Challenge: High Places

So my plan was to go to the highest spot in Virginia Beach (which, since this is Tidewater, is crazy low) but with all the storms this week, it wasn't exactly safe... I really didn't want to get me and Clyde fried to a crisp in lightning. So we'll have to save that trip for another day.

Meanwhile, for Fiance's birthday, his parents took us to dinner at a Taphouse down at the Oceanfront! Which means...

The beach!

The pier in the distance

And, thanks to Fiance's dad's parking choices, I got a "high places" picture for challenge #4!

From atop the parking garage, facing Atlantic Ave.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Birthday Cake

Fiance's birthday is tomorrow! And he's working 5pm-1am tonight, so I thought I'd get his birthday cake made, so it would be waiting for him when he got home! Clyde was a big help. We made a step-by-step:

1: Put the cake mix in a bowl and grab a spoon.

2: Add the oil, water, and eggs. (Rinse egg off your fingers,
if you're a messy egg-breaker like me.)

3: Mixmixmixmixmix!

4: Remove some of the batter into another bowl.
Add food coloring.

5: Mixmixmix! (Not pictured: Repeat with another bowl and another color.)

6: Pour batters in layers into your greased pan.
(By the way, you should have greased a pan before now.)

7: Smoosh the layers outward a little (they should, in theory,
spread more while they bake... I don't know, I've never done this before).

8: Put the cake in the oven (which, by the way, should have been preheated
to 350F before now) and wash the dishes!

9: Put the camera away and forget to bring it out while you pull the cake out,
let it cool, and frost it (and add sprinkles!). 

Step 10: Wait for Fiance to come home and enjoy his cake!

5/10/13: BONUS PHOTO... I didn't tell Fiance it was pretty inside so I made him cut it before we both left for work:


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cinco de Mayo

Yeah, Battle of Puebla Day is not something I typically celebrate. I'm not a huge fan of tequila, and I'm usually working anyway. But since Fiance and I wanted Moe's for lunch... well...

We were a little bit festive anyway. (That isn't margarita though... I still had to go to work!)


Not real dolphins, mind you. Despite the fact that we have dolphin tours at the beach here, I have never seen a dolphin in the water. Then again, I've never been on a dolphin tour... But I digress.

Several years ago, the city of Norfolk decided to start putting up mermaids everywhere. Apparently some other city was doing this with their own mascot, and it was becoming trendy. Local artists decorate the mermaid blanks (approximately life-size, posed in the way they are in the city's logo) to be put up all over the city. For example, they painted one to look like she was wearing a Norfolk Admirals hockey jersey, put a helmet on her, and put her in the Norfolk Scope, where they played.

Virginia Beach got in on the action by doing the same thing, but with dolphins. Personally, I think the mermaids were a much bigger deal, and the dolphins looked kind of like an afterthought, but they're still all over the place.

TCC (the school I'm a librarian at) has their very own dolphin on campus, and Clyde hopped up on top of it for a photo today:

(Fun fact: He actually fell off into one of those little grassy plants right after the photo was taken... but it looked like a soft landing; I think he was okay.) The thing on the middle of the dolphin is TCC's logo. It's all quite sparkly in person, in the right light.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Cooking Dinner

I'm not proud to admit that this is such a rare occasion that it was worthy of photographing, but Clyde helped me make dinner tonight!

Clyde reminds me to clean up the mess on the stove, and put away the milk when I'm done

Mmm, smell the garlic potatoes! The chicken! The corn! Delish.
Yum! Hopefully I'll be doing more of this in the next couple weeks, along with going out to see fun things, because I'll have MORE TIME OFF! (I cannot emphasize this enough, friends. I had NO days off in April.)

Week 3 Challenge: Work!

This one was easy, since I spend almost all my time at work. I have three jobs, but two are very similar. I'm a librarian (and a library specialist) and I work at my family's sign shop.

This is a display I set up in March. (See Clyde peeking out of the middle?)

We shelved all the books! What's next?

Playing among the rolls of banner material at the sign shop.

There will be plenty more photos from work, considering I spend so much time working, but my schedule will change next week (we'll be between semesters, and then summer hours are different) and I'll have more free time to do fun things with Clyde!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Opeth at the NorVa

We have a concert venue here called the NorVa (for Norfolk, VA) and I went there to see Opeth last night! I say "I" instead of "we" because I was worried that Clyde might get trampled, covered in beer, or smell like smoke if he joined me, so I left him in the car for safety.

But here's a photo from the show anyway: