Friday, March 12, 2010

Break Bread for Brad

Break Bread for Brad
Originally uploaded by jessajune

I'm not in Austin for SXSW Interactive this year. My budget and other commitments won't allow for it. I'm sorry to miss all the great people that I usually only see once a year, but my only real regret is that I am going to miss Break Bread for Brad.

I was in Spain when I got the news via Twitter that Brad had passed away. I think more than anything I can say, the best measure of Brad is the huge number of friends he has left behind. Many of them are gathering tonight in Austin, where instead of a party hosted by Brad, it is a party for Brad and for those who remember him fondly.

So many people have written wonderful eulogies for Brad. I will only say that he had a generous spirit, a quick mind, and a wicked wit. He will be much missed.

I wish I could be with you all tonight, to celebrate Brad. But know that I am lifting my Bradlands mug in solidarity.

I'll finish by sharing Brad's words from the back of the mug, which make me smile every time I read them, which is almost every day.

My favorite animal at the zoo is the lesser kudu. You have to admire an animal with a name like that, laboring as he must in the shadow of the greater kudu. It must be like having an older brother who excelled at sports and academics in school, to whom you have always been compared and found lacking.

A few months ago, I was visiting the zoo at lunch with a friend and discovered the area where the lesser kudu is ordinarily found was empty.

I hope he made a break for it. I hope he made his way out into the world, free of expectations, shedding labels, determined only to be the best damn kudu he could be.

-- Brad L. Graham, July 28, 2001

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New Leaves

New Leaves
Originally uploaded by jessajune

In California, spring comes early. We've had acacia and mustard and plum blossoms since February, of course. But in early March, more and more plants are braving the rain and putting out new leaves. I took advantage of this morning's sun to snap a few photos.

In other news, I also finished my second pair of socks that are intended for me - it feels like the first pair are ALWAYS in the laundry, as I put them on the moment they are dry enough to wear. So now I'll have a rotation of 2... and work will start soon on pair number 3. People told me that sock knitting was an addictive process, but I didn't believe them until I put on that first pair. There's really nothing quite like them.

Green Sock Pattern Detail

Thursday, February 18, 2010

How did it get to be spring already?

Plum Blossoms III
Originally uploaded by jessajune

But it has. E's street is filled with ornamental plum trees, and they are all in bloom. Every time you step out the door, there is a sweetness to the air.

But it is that time - we're starting to talk about what to do with the garden. (Mom says if it's all left to Dad and I, the entire yard will be planted with hot peppers and squash. This may be true.) I planted some cilantro just yesterday, and it felt good to have my hands in the soil again. There is some serious weeding to be done, as well, both in the vegetable planters and around my front door. It's supposed to rain this weekend, so I should get out there and work on it.

On the knitting front, things are moving quickly as well... I've joined a Ravelry group where we're put into teams and given assignments and earn points - it sounds silly, but I have finished many more projects since I joined. I've never had problem starting things, but finishing is another story, so this has been a great development for me.

Since finishing the Spain socks a few posts below, I made yet another black hat for E (I am done for a while - that's 3 black hats in the course of a year. Black yarn is BORING, y'all.), a red hat for me, some yoga socks (no heels or toes) and a pair of red/pink/orange socks for Mom's birthday. I told you I'd been busy!

Mom Socks

And the photography has been progressing along, as promised. I'm pretty sure that I'll turn this photo-a-day thing into a yearlong project. I'm having too much fun to stop!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Behind the Cypress Tree

Behind the Cypress Tree
Originally uploaded by jessajune

Picture per day photos are behind schedule - I'm mostly taking them, but I wanted to get all my vacation photos up on Flickr before uploading any subsequent pictures. I finally have finished that - and made a set for the Spain pictures. The ones from London are currently on the front page. I'll be filling in past IPPD photos soon.

This particular picture was taken from the top of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, on the Nativity side of the church. That cypress tree you see there is at the top of the front facade on that side of the church. I do not particularly like heights (note: this may be a huge understatement) but it was absolutely worth it for the gorgeous views, and the close up look at the higher portions of the structure.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I finished my socks

These are not my first pair of socks, but they're the first pair that was made for me. They fit perfectly, since, you know, I made them exactly for my feet. They feel great.

That is all.

Happy New Year

Hello hello! I hope you all had a good holiday, and that you are not so buried in January's return-to-business that you've forgotten all about it already. I spent my New Year in Spain this year - I have to say, I am not generally a big fan of New Year's Eve festivities, but I had a great time out of the country. Even if I DID have some trouble with the Spanish tradition of eating a grape on each stroke of midnight. (I am a small person, with a small mouth, and those grapes had SEEDS.)

If you want to hear more about our vacation shenanigans, E and I created a joint travel blog over at, so feel free to check it out.

On a photograph front, I am working on getting all my many many many photographs up on Flickr, and I will post a link to the set when I do. I think I'm also going to put together a short version set for those who just want the highlights version.

And yes, I'm still taking daily photographs - I think I'm going to extend that project at least through the end of March, and I may make a full year out of it. The new camera I got for Christmas is so much more fun and responsive than my old camera, I feel like there is new ground still to cover.

Today's photo, however, came from my webcam - yes, that is both cats sitting in my lap (my legs are crossed, which is how Freya is seeming to float in midair - she's perched on my knee). We are keeping each other warm. And yes, I did take that picture by holding my laptop over my head. I couldn't very well get up to fetch my real camera without disrupting the cat pile.

Anyway, so I am back and not dead, and things are going well. I hope to resume posting about some knitting stuff soon - I am very close to finishing my first pair of knit socks for myself, and they have been a bit of a revelation. Which is almost a pity. Socks are pretty tedious to knit but I will undoubtedly be making a lot more of them because they are so comfortable. But more on that another day!

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Happy Holiday

Bubble IPPD 12/25/09
Originally uploaded by jessajune

I hope you all had a great holiday. I had a lovely Christmas with my family.

However, my holiday has just begun. E and I are on our way to Spain. I am packing as we speak, and we fly out tonight! We've been looking forward to this trip for a while now. Both of us have been to Spain before, but we're hitting some places that neither or only one of us have been before. I'm not one of those people who figure if you've been to a country once, you've seen everything needful and should move on - I prefer to soak in the feeling of a place. I think we'll have a chance to do that on this trip.

So we're off, and we'll be back the 2nd week in January! I'll continue taking photos, but I don't know that I'll post any of them before we return.