Thursday, May 26, 2011


Pardon the quietness on the blog, I am packing to move back to California and my parents just arrived (arrove*) yesterday. In less than a day, we have:

- Gone out to eat (Vietnamese food).
- Had coffee (Starbucks, which my mother was super happy about after days of crap instant coffee).
- Had budae-jjigae (부대찌개), with hot dogs and Shin ramyun (신라면) in it.
- Had Spam musubi.
- Consumed about 1.5 gallons of water.
- Inhaled about 3/4 bottle of wine (Cotes du Rhone).
- Ingested about 1/2 bottle of scotch (Glenlivet Nadurra).

The parents stopped by Chaco and camped before they came to Albuquerque, because they're nature people that way.

More packing, a little road trip, and an even littler road trip coming up in the next few days before the big road trip back home. I'll probably post random photos from my phone while we're away.

It's going to be a weekend of saying goodbye to New Mexico, which isn't going to be as easy as I had previously thought.

* For William.


Monday, May 23, 2011

International Banking?

If anyone knows about personal international banking, please contact me. I need to figure out how to deposit and access money in a foreign country ... hopefully into my American checking account.

Why does everything have to be so hard?

On a side note, I'm pissed off at Chase for their idiotic (non-free) new rules for checking accounts. I miss WaMu.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Two Fools Farewell

The movie is dangerously close to wrapping, with just an odd bit or bob every now and again, popping up for us to tackle.

That fact, along with the fact that people are starting to leave the facility, means that we took a long, leisurely lunch today at Two Fools. I've been to that bar several times since I first wrote about it, and I still like it (that's saying a lot).

Lunch was fun, with pub grub (Scotch eggs, corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew) a couple drinks (Guinness and other assorted beer for the boys, a hot toddy for me-- it's cold today, don't judge), and lots of commiserating about our lives (or lack thereof) over the past year.

I will actually miss things about Albuquerque when I leave.

(My hot toddy! That's my work husband and his Guinness, while he looks at the drinks menu. He might have been contemplating a scotch or something.)


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bandelier National Monument, Part 2

Part 1 is here.

This post is for my mother. She loves flowers and plants, and she inherited a green thumb from her father (my only living grandfather). I remember that my grandparents came to visit us when I was in elementary school, when we had a row of rosebushes in our front and back yards. Those roses never thrived as well as they did while he was staying with us. It's one of those odd memories that I keep, that pops into my head randomly.

At Bandelier, the range between the desert-like rockiness and the cool, damp forest led to interesting plants and some beautiful flowers. They certainly weren't just conventional plants (although there were plenty of those, too).

On my drive there, I stopped to get something cold to drink. On the side of the road, without much of anything around, there was a giant bush, filled with these pretty purple blossoms. They were fuzzy, and that, combined with the unreal color, made them seem fake.
Obviously not fake, at least not according to this bee. I'm a little scared of bees, but this one had no interest in me. (I've been stung once in my life, while I was sleeping, and it hurt so much that I jerked awake to see what had happened.)
I love the long lavender tubes on these. They look a little like what I imagine plumerias would look like if they were abandoned in the desert and forced to survive.
Cheerful! Yellow! Summertime! I really love that dusty sage color that some plants have, and this is one of them. The happy bright flowers don't hurt either, of course.
Gradient effect by nature- this would look so fake if someone drew or painted it, but it's not fake at all.
Fuzz ball. I don't know what this is- the head of a flower that hasn't bloomed? Or a flower that's bloomed and died? It's interesting, though, and lovely in a strange way.
Desert plants in abundance ... is that contradictory to say? I like these colors a lot, the pale greens, the muted tones. I found the ochre growths on the rocks to be surprisingly bright and saturated.
Close up of those splotches of color. Maybe not "pretty," but visually intriguing. It can't be moss (I don't think), so I have no idea what these are. Just in case it's something germy and gross, I didn't touch it.
Stubborn trees like this were everywhere. They grow sideways and up, out of the smallest little crevices between slabs of rock. Nature always prevails, I suppose. I thought this was just the cutest tree- a rather miniature Christmas tree, Bandelier-style.
Shades of green. The cactus-y thing is surrounded by dried, beige-y grass, but behind that is a very lush looking forest. It's so odd how the two vastly different elements combine in this one location.
In the picture above, this plant is in the lower right corner. I like fuzzy things, which I can see is obvious- I took a lot of photos of fuzzy plants, fuzzy flowers, fuzzy animals, and so on. It's sort of like a big, floppy, green cattail.
I like the color orange quite a lot, especially in coral or melon hues, like these tiny little flowers. Not a very good picture, but I wanted to post a wider shot of the plant before posting a close-up of the actual flowers.
Very cute teensy flowers! I love the yellow center that goes to green, with the green going back to yellow before bleeding into the orange. Perhaps my favorite flower that I saw on this excursion.
This reminded me of silverswords, but not as hard and spiky. I don't know, something about the shape of this plant made me pause, and I picked my way through the brambly weeds to take pictures of it.
Oh, that's why I like it- it's fuzzy! And pretty and frilly. Tiers of ruffles.
Simple, basic, but still gorgeous. About as basic as flowers get.
My drive home went through the Jemez Mountains, where I stopped and took a bunch of photos. There were these huge dandelion things, about the size of a lemon, a little bigger than a lime. Giant puffballs.

That concludes the flora portion of the Bandelier program. There is actually a fauna section, coming soon.

I've been researching Turks and Caicos, and there are surprisingly few blogs that have photos or mentions of the islands. I'm not really sure what to expect (other than beaches), because even the weather seems quite varying.

Before I worry about vacationing, I should probably get packed and ready to move...


Monday, May 16, 2011


- Annoyed. One of my e-mail accounts was hacked (Hotmail) and has been sending spam to every. single. person. in my address book. I changed my password and reported the idiocy, because I'm hoping that I won't have to close the account. So annoying.

- Just realized yesterday that my parents will be here next week, which means that I'm moving in two weeks. I'm not ready!

- The weather is heating up (finally) and that means that the cockroaches are back. Shudder. Albuquerque has giant cockroaches, and the ones that make it past the pesticide around my apartment are the monstrous, mutated ones that could eat pet cats. I'm actually afraid of them and have a can of super-duty spray on the ready, to drown them if I see them.

- Stayed out late on Saturday night. I'm still tired. I think this means I'm getting old.

- The movie is almost done!!


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bandelier National Monument, Part 1

Between Blogger being down for a day and work swinging schizophrenically between busy-busy-busy and boring-boring-boring, I had time to go through some photographs.

Instead of creating a Picasa photo album, as I had done for Petroglyph, I decided to split up the photos into separate posts. I don't know why, but when I read other people's blogs, I prefer seeing the photos there, instead of going into a separate album.

I've already edited the photos into sections, so I know there will be six posts total. I'm not sure if I'll be posting all six in a row or whenever I feel like it (probably the latter, truthfully), but I'll get around to them. Hopefully before I leave New Mexico.

As I'm posting from work, I haven't tweaked this photographs at all, which I generally like to do. I think this is going to be a new and pervasive thing for me- no color corrections or re-framing or anything- so that I can actually get posts up on my blog, rather than hanging onto pictures from ages ago, waiting to have time at home where I can fix up the photos before slapping them up. There's just not enough time for that business.

I actually went to Bandelier National Monument last August, on a Saturday (August 14). The weather was typically New Mexican- windy and sunny, with capricious and speedy clouds. The photos, from first to last, were all taken within a span of less than four hours, but the lighting and mood are very different because of the weather and peek-a-boo sun.

On the way there, I saw these clouds. These type of big, fluffy clouds will always make me stop and take a picture. I really liked that gate, too (click for bigger pictures). This landscape is very typical of New Mexico once you get outside of the cities- not even very far outside the cities, just a few minutes.
Traveling clouds and an interesting plateau-type thing. People always think of New Mexico as being a desert, but this was taken in August, after a hot, dry summer, and things are still green. Beige-y green, yes, but still! Not the scorched-earth-desert that occurs to most people.
There's a drive from the initial gate into Bandelier, where the nice park rangers take your money and give you a map (it was free for me that day, I still don't know why- but it's only $10 to get into the park, I think). The drive winds downhill, but at the top, there's this great view of the canyon. Full of green trees, it was surreal for me to see it- it looked like a forest!
Despite the green, it is still a desert. I like skeletal trees, I think they have character. I love green trees, too, but these leafless, parched trees are more interesting to me- trees with leaves all look the same, whereas stripped trees have more distinguishing characteristics.
Getting into the park. If the mountains were pale and bleached, this could almost be Yosemite- but the red gives it away. It was much cooler and less dry once I got into the valley- it felt a little like Yosemite, where it's cool inside the forest even in the summer.
Porous rocks, which will be important in just a little while. Bandelier was intriguing because it switched very quickly between looking like a desert (rocky, with only scrubby plants) and a forest (coniferous trees with damp ground).
Doesn't it look just like a desert here? I associate those kinds of hardy shrubs with the desert, and the rocks look whitewashed and hot, as they do in the desert.
Meticulously restored ruins of walls. I love the patches of flowers that grew randomly all over the place. I could understand why people would have lived here- in between the canyon walls, they were protected somewhat from the wind, and it wasn't nearly as hot and harsh as it is above the canyon.
Same walls, viewed from a little higher elevation. I took a couple trails and hiked around. The first trail led me to the most tourist-y of areas in Bandelier, the places were people lived. It was obviously the most developed, with stairs, signs, and a lot of people.
Moody clouds decided to shadow some of the valley and leave some of it in bright sunlight. I do love these trees- they are the kind of dark green that I associate with real forests, and lend that distinctive smell to the air.
You could crawl into that hole if you wanted. It was a "room," I suppose. A tiny room, but cool, which I imagine was important to keep from dehydrating or getting overheated.
The houses were built into and out of the mountainsides. Beautiful in an austere, practical way, and very true to their surroundings.
Windows and doors in the mountain. Some of those indents looked like shelves. I imagine this is sort of what bees feel like, going into their hive- a bunch of entrances that lead into their rooms.
Front yards? There were small dividing walls- I doubt they grew flowers for fun, but they probably grew herbs, edible plants, that kind of thing. It looks a bit like a development- one yard and one apartment for each family.
An apartment complex? That's certainly what it felt like, but way more fun than any modern apartment complex that I've ever seen. It's amazing that they were able to live here, make these homes for themselves.
I quite loved this window. It's like somebody had an artistic person in the family that made a cool window, so he knew which room was his. I'm sure that's not the reason it exists, but I like to make up stories in my head, and that's what I thought of when I saw this.
An alley? One of the few very tall and narrow areas I saw at Bandelier. I like places like this because I like being shaded more than I like being in direct sunlight.

Part 2 coming soon- it will cover the plants, trees, and flowers that I saw at Bandelier.

It's Saturday, so where would I be other than work? I think this might (fingers crossed) be my last Saturday working, as the movie is starting to come to an end. It premieres June 17, in regular and stereo (3D) releases, so I don't think I'll be quite as busy next week as I was this week.

For the first time in a long time, I committed to plans on a weekend- tonight, a dinner to say farewell to some people and happy birthday to another, and tomorrow, a barbecue to say farewell to a couple different people. I don't know how well I'll do, as I've been happy and cozy in my hermit-like state lately, but I want to bid these folks adieu, so I don't have much of a choice.

Saying goodbye isn't as hard as it used to be, which I think (hope) means that I'm getting used to it, and I'm learning that goodbye doesn't mean I'll never see them again. If I want to move around and travel more, I'll have to do it even more!

(Bandelier Part 2 is here.)


Friday, May 13, 2011

BlogSpot Issues

If you use for your blog and are having issues:


Wednesday, May 11, 2011


It's not hailing, but the iPhone weather app is so cute.

Speaking of iPhones, I need a new phone. I'm conflicted as to when I should buy it ... before all my summer trips? After?

Decisions, decisions.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Light ... End of the Tunnel

It actually feels like there's light at the end of the tunnel on this movie that has dominated my life for the past 13 months.

One of the weirdest things about working on movies, in my experience, is that you never know what's going to happen. You don't know if it'll make any money, if critics will like it, if there will be a sequel, or even if you're getting a credit. I've worked on a few movies that I haven't received a film credit for, which is a little disappointing (more to my family and friends than me, I think).

With all the constant tension and pressure of having to produce great work without instant gratification, it's always nice to be able to laugh, at least a little.

I saw these posters and they made me laugh. For now, that's enough.

Isn't he a cute Lego? I've seen Hal for countless hours of my life now, but never quite this adorable. I have to say, I think Oa (the planet in the background) turned out quite well. It was a long, hard road to get it looking like that.
This was supposedly an honest poster, but it's a lie. Anything that can be CGI is made CGI at some point throughout the film. (Nobody at work actually uses the abbreviation "CGI," by the way. It's something the media uses, so people have picked up, but we don't say "CGI" unless we're talking to a layperson.)

There is a very long but funny YouTube video that we all appreciated after the WonderCon trailer came out (our first trailer was not met with all that much enthusiasm), showing that people really are supportive of "Green Lantern."

It's always nice to work on something that people are looking forward to. Even with those naysayers that repeatedly post about what a ton of crap the film will be. I'm reserving judgment on the movie until I've watched the whole thing through. I recently sat down and watched a good chunk of it, and I liked it, but I'm really too close to it currently to form any sort of real opinion.

Countdown to my last day on the film: 2.5 weeks.


Monday, May 09, 2011

Passport Photos

I sent in my passport renewal paperwork today at the post office a block and a half away from work. My passport expired in February of this year, and I just haven't been motivated enough to go get passport photos, fill out applications, and find my way to the correct location during regular business hours.

Passport picture from ten years (!) ago on the left, new passport picture on the right. I don't think I actually got paler ... I think my old picture was taken by some sod without very good lighting. And, though my old picture clearly shows my hair over my ears, I was told this time around that my hair had to be tucked behind my ears. What the heck? I have an elementary school child's hairstyle in my new picture because of this newfangled "rule" that I've never heard of before.

Honestly, I can admit that I'm photogenic. You may think this is a good thing, as I look good in pictures. Not so, Internet, not so. Being photogenic means that I am actually uglier in person than in pictures. Be prepared to be unpleasantly surprised if you ever see in me in the flesh, because that's not really what I look like. (I just noticed how nice my skin looks in my recent photo. It's a farce!)

Anyways. Application to get my passport renewed has been sent to the lovely passport people in Philadelphia, who will hopefully get me a new passport pronto (I need it to go to Turks and Caicos!). It was a bit of an annoying process, frankly:

- Expired passport
- Passport photos (Walgreen's, $10 for two photos- I got six, just in case)
- Application (available here- on the government travel website)
- Payment (confusingly, on a separate page), I sent a personal check made out to "Department of State"
- There are two separate addresses to send passport applications, one for regular processing and one for expedited processing. It costs $60 more to get the renewal expedited, on top of the $140 regular cost. I wrote out a $200 check to the government today. After the $1,000+ I shelled out for taxes last month. All this money I give, and still no universal health care. Harrumph.

The two pages of the application, my old passport, two new passport photos, and the payment (personal check with full name and birthday on it) were thrown into an envelope and mailed via priority mail. I opted for priority mail with tracking, because I am paranoid and afraid they'll lose my passport.

I am currently at work, eating western style hash browns from Frontier, which is (I'm told) an Albuquerque institution. They are unhealthy and super delicious: hash browns with cheese, green chile, and what tastes like a pound of butter. Need to enjoy all the green chile I can eat before I blow this popsicle stand!


Saturday, May 07, 2011

Traveling in 2011

I realize that from my blog, it may appear that I like to travel a lot. And I do. But this love of traveling didn't come about until last year, after Korea and Hawaii. (I still have pictures to post about Korea, Hawaii, and even San Francisco. *shake fist*)

Before last year, I was perfectly happy spending all my free time in California, seeing my parents, seeing my sister, seeing the cat, seeing the bunnies, maybe going to Disneyland, watching some movies, reading a ton of summery books, cooking, eating, and doing nothing. I didn't need to go places. I didn't want to pack a suitcase and get on a plane.

It's so different now. I can't wait to land in a new airport, see new things. Get bug bites from strange insects that I don't recognize.

So my summer of 2011 is shaping up (it all happened this week, really quickly):

June 5 - June 12: Turks and Caicos Islands
June 13 - June 15: Las Vegas

I believe that I'll be in Korea later in the summer, too, but nothing's definite yet for that trip.

It's weird how much I find throwbacks to high school this year- as people are done with this movie and going on vacation, they keep saying "have a great summer," just like they used to sign in yearbooks in school. I feel like I'm getting a 'summer break' this year, though it's really just a break from work.

Hopefully, it really will be a good summer, school or no. I'm glad I'm old enough to drink now, that definitely helps.

Meanwhile, still at work on a Saturday evening. I haven't gone out in a long time, and I still don't feel like it, for whatever reason. I think I'm going to go home and start packing up my winter clothes (in the deluded hopes that the cold weather has left Albuquerque for good this time).


Friday, May 06, 2011

Folding Boxes, Part 2

Part 1 here.

Work has its times of business and idleness. So when I'm idle, I get all crazy with the paper.

Nesting boxes! The thing that they're sitting on is a paper cutter (the guillotine type, which, frankly, astounds me in this day and age- nobody's come up with a laser paper cutter by now??) which I use to cut the paper into squares (of varying sizes, for the nested boxes).

Planning trips, planning my life after this show, counting the days until I get to leave this city and its -10% humidity (I only exaggerate a little). Soon enough, I'll be baking in humid heat.

A little Green Lantern game to play online if you're bored.


Wednesday, May 04, 2011


Back home in LA in a month. My birthday in a month.

I only hope that I don't freak out this year... The last year in my twenties!


Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Folding Boxes

Work is, lately, in two modes: busy and bored.

When times are boring, I can't just sit still. My work husband's daughter painted this:

Pretty good for a three-year-old. So I cut six 5-inch squares out of her work and made something for her:
A triangular box with lid. My phone's crappy pictures are making the neon pink look red, and the colors look very muted, but they're very bright shades of yellow, orange, and pink.
It's pretty small, since the squares were only 5 x 5 inches, but big enough for a toddler to play with. And for the record, I do not recommend doing intricate origami with paper that has uneven splotches of paint on it. Makes it very difficult.

Still, I hope she likes it (she's the one daughter in the middle, between two brothers). I made other boxes (a hexagon and a larger triangle) for the boys, but I didn't have paintings from them, so their boxes are made out of leftover graphs and print-outs from work.

Time to go be bored ... and then to be insanely busy ... and then bored again ... and then busy again! Whee!


Video Relationships

At least once a day, I am in a video conference with our office in LA. One of the weirdest things today was seeing everyone in LA walk in wearing short-sleeved shirts and shorts (one girl in a short skirt, even!) while I am shivering in Albuquerque.

It is one of the oddest things, to see a place that I know well on a daily basis ... but not be there. Especially when the weather is so different, and when there are so many people that I know very well but have never met (or met very briefly).

The price of the world getting smaller, I suppose.

Another strange digital relationship, I think, was the one between Americans and Osama bin Laden. Thanks to the internet, I feel like I heard about his death practically the moment it happened (more accurately, the moment that our government decided to release the information).

I don't talk politics that often on my blog because I find that religion and politics are too divisive, and people tend to get shouty and lecture-y about either subject. (Combine the two and it's World War III). This is a significant event, though- particularly because we're all reveling in someone's death.

Yes, had I been alive during Hitler's reign, I would have been ecstatic to hear about his death. Though Hitler killed millions more people than bin Laden, they both wronged the world with their actions. I just don't know how to feel about being happy that someone has died. Actually happy- not just accepting, as when a murderer on death row is given a lethal injection, but celebratory, as if it's someone's birthday.

Oh, well. Politics confuse me, and my emotions about this confuse me. All I know is that I found this to be really funny: