Discovering L.A. through Art

So lately I’ve been going on tours in and around Los Angeles checking out street art courtesy of Cart Wheel Art Tours. On top of that, I’ve been doing my own walking around and finding my own way around. I’ve found a new passion in getting to know the city I’ve lived in and around my whole life through the hidden gems lurking around all over town.

It started when I went on this tour near Filipino Town in L.A. through Gabba Gallery, Cart Wheel Art Tours, and Atlas Obscura. The tour took us through several back alleys of a small section of that neighborhood and I fell in love!

All this time my passion for art was in paintings and going to gallery museums and exhibits. Who knew that there was this other type of art out there that couldn’t be put anywhere but in the back alleys of the streets of Los Angeles.

One weekend, I went to a couple open exhibits in West Hollywood. On the outside of the building were these wall murals of different characters like the monopoly guy. After I went into the exhibit, I decided to explore the area. I started to walk down one side of Melrose Ave and found more street art. I even came across a wall #7575 Melrose Street Art Wall. Melrose Ave has it’s own hashtag! I found several other installations of art that I’ve seen from other tours in LA. There was one that I really liked “From the dirt a flower must grow.”

It’s one of my favorite ones. I also came across one of those wings that you stand in front of and it looks like you have wings. Totally cool! Yes I know, weird language for me. Now I’m on a mission to find the rest in LA.

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By the way, I am having sooooo much fun with this, it’s hard to put it down into words. I’m on an mission! This is just the beginning, until the next time.

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back into the swing of things

So I am training for the Disney half marathon in September, or so I was. I started back in May and I had this gigantic, nothing could stop me type of attitude and motivation for something that I have never thought of ever doing in my life. When I had first mentioned this so called half marathon to some of my family members, they were somewhat afraid for me. Maybe because I am a sickly person and I have a slight case of asthma and I haven’t worked out in a very long time. Physical and mental battle or not, this half marathon wasn’t going to scare me one bit. I downloaded a training schedule that Disney had graciously provided for beginners and it pretty much lays it out for you; when to run, how long to run, and so on, all the way to how your form should be while you are running. This was great since I’ve never ran a marathon before, let alone know where to begin when it comes to training. Oh and I bought a fitbit to go along with tracking my progress through all of this and invested in proper running shoes.shoes

So fast forward back to May 2nd, the first day of my official training. Ready to run the first 2 miles of this half marathon journey? No, not really, but I’m going to go for it. Off I went, and boy did I realize how out of shape I was. I didn’t even get to the end of the block before I started huffing and puffing and had to start walking. After my first mile, all I could think about was can the second mile just come to me and I can be done with it? The first couple of weeks were a challenge to get through. After that it got easier and it became a part of my normal routine. Tuesday, Thursday evenings or every other day, whatever worked out. It was perfect, after getting home from work it was straight to the park with Mochi for an hour or so, then back home and off I went to run my easy pease two miles. I actually looked forward to the days I ran. On the weekends, the training schedule started with two miles and added a mile every week. I started feeling more energized, sleeping better and just an overall extra burst of good moods. Then SMACK dab right in the middle of training I get hit with a bad case of bronchitis. I didn’t have the body aches or fever, but I had the sniffling and coughing and the worst part, it was affecting my breathing. I still had the energy and still felt like running, but I had to stop myself and let my body rest. Gosh darn it. This thing had me out for two weeks.

So I’m all better now and I have to get back to training. OH MY GOSH is it so hard to get my motivation back. I’ve been sitting on my butt for two weeks and my body just got used to not doing anything. I’m on my first day back to running and my legs have become permanent weights that don’t want to move and my feet are just blocks of cement. Still I push through and I feel like I’ve started back to the first day of training. As if I haven’t even trained one day for this marathon. Oye vey. I feel it all over, my energy is down, my sleep is not the same, I’m tired during the days. Am I being too hard on myself? Well of course! the marathon is two months away! TWO MONTHS! That’s not a very long time and the long runs on Saturdays are getting longer and there is no way in hell am I even close to being ready for it. Okay there I said it. The first glimpse of me actually being scared of this half marathon. I mean I don’t want to do this marathon and be one of the last ones to finish. I mean my goal is to finish, this is, after all, my first half marathon, heck, my first running event ever; I just don’t want to be at the tail end of the marathon.

I have to find my motivation again. I didn’t run tonight just because I spent a little more time at the park with Mochi. Tomorrow is a two mile run day and Saturday is supposed to be 9.5 miles. I gotta find that motivation sooner or later.

 

I got to FLY!!!

Every time I am asked the question “What do you want to do?” my answer has been and always will be and I will quote from the movie Ever After when the prince asks Cinderella “is there anything you don’t do?” and she answers back in  the most  satisfying confident way as she looks up at the sky and closes her eyes and reads her arms wide open, “FLY.”

The good news is that I’ve gotten to FLY (sky diving) 3 times already and would do it over and over again. To feel so free, to fly with the birds, to be closer to the sun, to be so high off the ground, to hear peace and quiet thousands of feet in the air; there is nothing quite like it.

The first time, I think in 2009, was for a friend that was supposedly going to move to Thailand for good and it was his goodbye party, sort of. We went to the one in Temecula. Signed up for the entire package, video, pictures and all since it was our well my first time. Didn’t think I was going to do it ever again. We suited up and got our pre flight training. Off to the tiny dinky little plane we went and they managed to shove 20 people in there like sardines. You get the divers, the professional jumpers, the camera crew, and a few extras training or just doing it for fun. One by one we fell out of the plane. It was funny hearing my friends scream die out as she fell further away from the plane and scary at the same time because that meant I was next. DUN DUN DUN there is no backing out now!

3 2 1 go fall out of the plane! Screaming didn’t last too long, free falling was kind of fun, letting the wind catch you and it felt like you were just floating in mid air not to mention all you skin flapping about HAHA HAHAHAHAHA Okay I’m just laughing at myself now… No really, that is what I saw and that’s what really happens. Oh wait, don’t forget to say4788_1163932984223_1886901_n HI to your camera man! and oh yeah SMILE! Try doing that without having all the wind go into your mouth all at once… hahaha And now the guy strapped to your back finally pulls the chute. Oh so peaceful. We were having a normal conversation and just cruising around in the open air. That was the best feeling I’ve ever had I’ve forgotten that I just fell out of a plane however many thousands of feet off the ground. We finally landed and I was screaming and yelling WOOHOO YEAAAAHHH LET’S DO THAT AGAIN! I loved it so much that I even considered doing the training to get certified and jump on my own.

The second jump was in Taft, California. It was for my birthday December 2013. It was only two of us this time around. We get to the site and it was very different from my first experience. Small air space with no real solid buildings around. We checked in. They geared us up. We were kind of scared since the weather didn’t look so good. Mid December, cloudy skies, not your ideal forecast for skydiving right but they still booked us anyway. We see this tiny little plane come in and it looks questionable. It was one of those small planes that have the propellors on them. It looked like they pulled the back seats off and laid carpet on the floor. You could probably only fit about 5 people in there. On the inside, there were parts held up with duct tape, scary. But off we went. As we ascended higher, we were flying through thick clouds, we couldn’t even see above or below them. We get to our altitude and we are ready to jump out of the plane. My friend DCIM100GOPROwent first. Oh and the cameras were just attached to our jumpers wrists. It turned out that the camera on my friend’s jumper was not working so they were sitting at the edge of the plane trying to fix the darn thing. Oh and by the way, my friend is afraid of heights, imagine that. And there they go. I was next. We fell out, spun a little, fell through clouds, sleet, some rain, it was freezing cold I couldn’t even pay attention to the view. The next thing I knew we were on the ground. Still was fun, but not the same as the first. Nice way to spend my birthday.

The third time was in Oceanside with some church buddies. This one was, I guess you could say, extra special. A week before the jump, I found out that one of my best friends from college passed away ( I wrote about it in one of my other blogs “loss of a special friend”), DCIM100GOPROG0078488.I didn’t know if I was going to do the jump or not. Some people told me I shouldn’t go, some people told me I should because it would help get my mind off of things. I did it anyway and I’m glad I did. I took one of our old pictures and wrote a message on the back of it and had planned to let it go mid air. The cool thing was I told my instructor about it and he was like sure and caught the whole thing on camera. The best part was the jump was during sunset overlooking the ocean and I got to say goodbye to my friend in a way I thought she would appreciate.

I suppose I should’ve written about this some time ago since it is something that I truly enjoy, but it’s okay. I never thought I would ago skydiving once, let alone three times.

I LOVE TO FLY and I will continue to do it over and over again.

Tech Gal but not a Guru

So I have a degree in Computer Information Systems but do not have a career in that field, but it didn’t all go to waste. One of the many hats I wear at work is IT and I solve many of the minor mishaps of the IT world that any office would have from fixing printers and software updates to total network melt downs. While I’m glad that IT was and is not my profession, I do like it as a hobby, a side gig, a little thing that I get to dabble in every once in a while, but not everyday, so it’s manageable. Not that it’s a bad thing but I see where I would complain about it and I admit, there is extremely high competition out there and I am a mere average TECH GAL (I even have a shirt that says TECH GAL) that does this for fun, not a guru. Though I can fix a lot more than I thought I could, which I am proud of, but yea, not gonna go against th20170616_181058_HDR_Film2-2ose more capable tech guys out there that have been doing it a lot longer than I have. Heck, I can’t even build a computer from scratch. I simply keep the network running. The best part of all of this is when an actual tech guru notes and says “Hey, she actually knows what she’s doing.” Secretly I think they don’t like that I know my stuff because it does take business away from them. Side note, but I was an Apple Certified Desktop Technician for two years.

 

 

 

on the up and up

It’s been a crazy month but that phrase doesn’t seem to change for me does it? but it’s ok, things are going good… it was bad for some time, maybe too long in my book but what is good without the bad? it’s what makes the good even better right?!? I do miss writing, i miss my random rants about anything and everything and my mind has been on soooo many road trips good and bad… half and half too… at this point I’m back to rambling before i even get to the meat of the subject but that’s how i normally am right? besides, what is normal? heck i don’t know? who’s to determine what that should be? and besides the normal ones are weird and the weird ones are normal… so there… if that doesn’t make sense to you… it’s not supposed to.. haha i feel like i’m finding myself again, i miss me, a lot! nice to have you back! it’s good to be back! i’ve made it another year, woohoo! i’m doing a lot better than expected of myself, medicine is doing its job.

15078677_10211575985380953_6371228842385683589_nso i’ve set some new goals… i submitted Mochi’s picture for a calendar for 2018, hopefully it gets on there. i submitted other pictures as well. The cats are out and about getting along with Mochi dog. I signed up for a Disney Half Marathon in September, a Hillsong Conference in November, and I’m back in my piano lessons… notice that these are all for the next year if not two so i’m doing some reaching here… that’s good cuz i used to not be able to look past one day. Oh yeah I switched jobs, back to my old job and I am much happier! feels like home. I feel like I made the right decision and I’m happy with my decision.

With All of that said there is still only one person to thank for all of this, God! God is and will always be there to support me, listen to my hearts cries, and answer my prayers. Last weekend at my retreat, with the help of Pastor Tim, he confirmed all of this for me. That God has always been there, that God has always listened, and that God answers prayers. Pastor Tim told me things that came from God that were some of my deepest darkest secrets and deepest prayers, and yet through Pastor Tim, God speaks to me. Faith grows that much stronger.

a dog beach day

img_6634It’s Labor Day and we decided to have a nice day at the beach including Mochi… This is my first time taking Mochi to the beach. The three of us headed  out toHarbor Cove Beach out in Ventura early in the day. No traffic! When we got to the beach, it was nice and empty, the weather was a bit gloomy but not too cold. Plopped down our blanket and didn’t wait long to go test out the waters to see how she would do… Mochi didn’t mind the sand, she went out further into the water and baby waves came to great heimg_6715r… she ran away frantically, probably because the water was cold, but it didn’t take her long to jump right back in! At some point she went out a bit too far and a toddler wave decided to greet her… hahaha she got a one two punch of a wave and was wet! but I don’t think she seemed to mind at all… her paws were wet from the baby waves already. We ran around chasing waves back and forth, oh she was LOVING every bit of it. Eventually we got her tennis ball out and started throwing it around… so sand everywhere! paws, coat, snout, and now she was drinking the salt water and eating sand… my poor baby… but nope, she didn’t care! we kept at it for an hour or two…. running, chasing the ball, chasing waves, beiimg_6683ng chased by the waves… even flying! yes I have a flying Mochi dog! It made me happy to see Mochi to her full fun capacity! Running. Jumping. Flying. HAPPY Mochi Dog! After a while, people started showing up and it was getting crowded o we decided to take a break… time for sun bathing! Round two?!? and back in the water we went… sadly i couldn’t let her off leash as much because there were more dogs and more children around… she loves humans so she started hating out with some of the beach goers… At some point we said ok, we’re hungry… lets eat! Went to the cafe, had lunch… she got french fries and some of my burger so she was happy… then homeward bound. It was a great day at the beach for sure!

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camping vs real camping

since I was a kid, my family would go on camping trips every year and oh how i looked forward to them. I mean we would go in big groups, entire families, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends and all. From Big Bear to Mammoth, Yosemite, and all over southern Cali. I remember we would bring pack soon much stuff with us, blankets, pillows, sleeping bags, you know, the necessities. Then came the kitchen stuff! I mean pots and pans, chopping boards, and tons and tons of food! I mean I know we gotta eat and all, so we pretty much brought the whole house if I really think about it, HAHA! Don’t forget the lamps and flashlights. And the camp sites were clean and came with actual facilities so that we could have hot showers, you just need quarters LOL… but oh it was fun and nice to be clean before going to bed after playing all day in the dirt and sand and being sticky after sunscreen and sweat dripping all over you…. eeewwww hahaha

And then, I ended up going camping on the whim over the 4th of July weekend. I must say, we weren’t prepared at all! We just packed clothes and a couple sleeping bags and a cooler with ice. No camping reservations. I mean we didn’t know what time we were going to leave in the first place. We ended up going to the grocery store on the way to the campsite and pretty much bought what we wanted to eat and easy to cook that didn’t require much attention… We had to buy a stove, kitchen knife, and a flashlight, just the bare minimum to get by. We got to Kernville and started looking for a spot. I really didn’t think you could go camping on the fly! All this time I know my mom had to make reservations far in advance to even get a spot and everything would be all planned out. But back to camping on the fly. We finally found a spot… or so we thought. Since the site wasn’t regulated, we just asked the nearby neighbors if we could plop down next to them since it was just me and one other person. No biggie. We were so close to the river, it was great! Somehow managed to pitch a broken tent after the sun had gone down and cook dinner and eat by 10pm. Oh by the way, we forgot a lighter! =O   We had to ask our neighbors for one every time we wanted to cook. Sheesh! Who knew having a lighter or source of fire would be so important when camping? Then time for bed, okay, so where is the bathroom so I could wash up? My friend points to the river. LOL What?!? I’ve never gone camping without a bathroom facility! LOL Yes I know I’m spoiled! Just a little. =P   So since this site was first come first serve, the spot we ended up with had nothing but rocks! So we ended up sleeping on a bed rock. HAHA HA HA

The next day, we wake up, made breakfast… managed to make some coffee, is a must! What to do now? lets go for a hike and find a spot near the river to hang the hammock. Sure! Brought some water and started walking. We found a spot, hung up the hammock, and decided to take a quick nap. Woke up since the sun was hitting our faces and decided to jump in the river. That felt OH SO GOOD! considering it was pretty hot during the day. swam around and somehow managed to float near our campsite. We decided to grab some snacks and more drinks and walk back to where we left our hammock. Found a new shady spot, hung around for a bit, ate some fruit, and back to sleep we go. The sun managed to follow us to every shady spot we found, but its ok, we would just jump back in the river to cool off. We headed back to the campsite for lunch. After lunch, another nap, wake up and jump in the river again… this side of the river had a bit of a stronger current, I lost my footing and got carried away and the current slammed me into a rock! That hurt! And oh yea, my friend had to come help me or I would have floated away further down the river… hahaha I probably coulda got up and fought but after hitting a rock, my leg was hurting! At the end of the day, even though it was a short camping trip, we decided to go home and not sleep on a bed of rocks for another night!

All we did was jump in the river, eat, and sleep for a day and a half. I mean I could get used to this! Not having to worry about anything at all. My mind had never been so at peace. Also, the company with you makes a big difference. Thanks for the great weekend! Lets do that again! =D