Author Archives: Phera

About Phera

INTJ Type A engineer living in SoCal.

Damn work always gets in the way…

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So I have approx. 18.5 work days left before I give notice. Not that I’m counting or anything. I’m trying to tie up loose ends, get projects finished, and generally leave things as organized as possible. However, all I want to do is get ready for the next phase of my life. I’ve got so many disjointed thoughts floating around in my head that it’s difficult to focus. I wrote them down in a general to-do list on my phone but it crashed and killed that app so I’m back to square one. I hope I don’t end up like my friend’s Mom in high school with a big beautiful house full of crap because she couldn’t focus enough to finish her projects. AHHH!

In my current scattered state I became distracted by knitting patterns on Ravelry , which lead to reading forums on knitwear, which lead to current trends in knitwear fashion, which lead to amazing designs by Mark Fast, which lead me to this blog, which lead me to these gorgeous pictures of knitwear:

Seriously, how are these things made? Anyone know?

I’m a slave to V=IR a.k.a Ohms for the poor

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So on both Wednesday and Thursday nights I intended to write about how much I enjoy classic, antique, and high-performance cars. I planned on uploading a few of the pictures I have of gorgeous Bugattis (pl?), Aston Martins, and some other beautifully designed vehicles we took pictures of on a visit to the Peterson Auto Museum. However, we actually experienced some weather in Los Angeles and had massive windstorms that knocked down trees and power-lines. The lights started flickering on Wednesday night interrupting my marathon knitting and watching Twin Peaks sessions and then went completely black about 10 o’clock. Luckily, we have a lot of red and gold candle-holders lying around for football season so I had light but no power hence no pretty pictures were uploaded.

Power was still off the next morning on our block even though others just a few streets away had power and unfortunately work still had electricity so no surprise day off for me. Commuting in L.A. is bad enough but throw in a few stoplights being out and in a matter of days I think we’d have a Twilight Zone The Monsters Due on Maple Street situation here. Power was still dead by the time I got off work so my husband cleared out the fridge and packed the ice chest full of perishables. We were unmotivated to crawl into our closet to find our campstove and went out to Mexican food at a place called El Conquistador known for their fantastic knock you on your ass tasty margaritas. After two of those I was feeling pretty good so we invited the neighbors over to play Apples to Apples and when we got home we had power. Yeah!

Candles are romantic and all but I’m really a fan of electricity.

From a recent email chain sent to me:

Wikipedia: I know everything!

Facebook: I know everybody!

Internet: Without me you are nothing.

Electricity: Keep talking bitches.

——–

Random awesome link of the day:

I like my art moving

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I’ve always been fascinated with mobiles and kinetic sculpture. I don’t know what the proper division is between them but to me mobiles are typically passive and kinetic sculptures are often motorized. I find them both soothing, fun, and fascinating to watch. Since a lot of babies have them hanging in their cribs, I wonder if this fascination is something we all share. Kinetic sculpture is newer to me but I’ve noticed a lot more of it in public spaces such as airports and large building lobbies. Alexander Calder is credited with being the inventor of mobiles and is near to my heart because he was trained as an engineer but used that knowledge to help him make art which is an aspiration of mine. I stumbled across Reuben Margolin’s work one night on a random internet search and was amazed by the graceful movements of his kinetic sculptures.

“Animals. Animals. Animals everywhere…”

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My husband and I share our approx. 900 sq. ft apartment with our two cats and our aforementioned dog. Sometimes having three critters plus ourselves in a smallish space can be overwhelming but other times I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve always shared my life with animals except for a few brief stints in my 20s when I couldn’t have pets due to lease restrictions. Growing up I’ve had up to 3 cats at a time, a dog, chickens, goldfish, tropical fish, parakeets, a Corn snake, and a pony. If I had the space, I’m sure I’d be in danger of becoming a crazy pet lady.

Our current menagerie started with our cat Bogey. We adopted him from a rescue group here in L.A. when he was about  2 years old. He originally came with the name Spartacus because he’s a big muscular male cat but that name suited a warrior not our adopted scaredy-cat so he was renamed Agador Spartacus in reference to a character in the movie The Birdcage. That name was a bit unwieldy so he picked up the nickname Bogart from J.K Rowling’s descriptions of boggarts in the Harry Potter books as being creatures that hide in dark spaces which then got shortened to Bogey. So in summary, this cat’s full name is Agador Spartacus Bogart a.k.a Bogey. He’s still a bit of a scaredy-cat but he’s gotten better over the last 7 years we’ve had him though he still is very similar to a fellow blogger’s description of their cat he calls The Other Cat.

The next cat that came into our lives was Nyx from a woman threatening to take her to the pound if no one adopted her. When she first arrived, she was a very petite Egyptian statue looking black cat and was named after the Greek goddess of night. Soon after getting her she had some pretty disgusting health issues and is now shaped like a football. She’s an oddball of a little cat but she’s very friendly and is much more outgoing than Bogey and she’s been a part of our house for about 3 years.

Our dog Monty is the latest addition. My husband and I had been wanting a dog for awhile since we’d both been raised with dogs and missed their companionship. We debated for a couple years and then decided to take the plunge a year ago and got a dog. We were hoping a dog would just show up in our lives but that wasn’t happening so we started searching online through various rescues. We wanted a bigger dog, 1-2 years old, with short hair but the dog’s personality meshing with ours was the most important requirement. Our dog chose us at a rescue event and the fantastic people at the Dawg Squad let us adopt him. He came with the name McGee but we changed it to Montana for a couple of reasons. My husband’s parents have a dog named Indiana so we thought it’d be fun to continue the states theme, we had just come back from a trip to Montana, and it’s the last name of my husband’s favorite retired quarterback. The dog’s full name is Montana McGee a.k.a Monty and is a fantastic dog. We’ve debated about starting a fan site just  for him because everyone loves Monty.

All three of our critters are rescued from the pound or from people who didn’t want them anymore and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We didn’t care if they were purebred or not so all of them are unpapered mutts kinda like their owners. They are all very loving and somewhat well-adjusted animals no different from their bought as kittens/puppies counterparts. I try not to be preachy but I really urge people wanting a pet to look at rescues and the pound first before buying their animal from a breeder because pet over-population/abandonment is a huge issue. Also, consider black animals as they are the least likely to be adopted.

A walk in L.A.

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Last Saturday my husband’s family was visiting from Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa so we decided to do the Art Deco walking tour through the L.A. Conservancy. I never realized how many art deco buildings were located in downtown L.A. until we started walking around. The tour was definitely worth the price if you like that sort of thing and I highly recommend it.  My favorite part of the tour was seeing the interior of what was known as the Southern California Edison Building which has since been renamed to One Bunker Hill pictured above. The mix of stone textures, colors, paintings, and lighting details were breathtaking.

After the tour, we wandered over to another spectacular building know as the Bradbury Building pictured below. This building predates Art Deco so it wasn’t included on the tour but it is worth visiting. One of these times I’d love to take a ride in the wrought iron elevators but they aren’t open to the general public as this building is still being used as office space.

Following the Bradbury Building, we took a short ride up Angel’s Flight which is a very short funicular up a large hill downtown. Apparently Angelinos didn’t like walking even a hundred years ago. I’d never heard of a funicular and may have to use one in my not so epic novel I’m supposedly writing for NaNoWriMo.

All in all it was an enjoyable day exploring downtown and acting like a tourist. Also on the tour was a guy I had a crush on in the 8th grade who I hadn’t seen since I graduated high school in Northern California. What are the odds?

Etsy obsession in blue

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I have spent so much time on Etsy lately it’s becoming an obsession. Seriously, I’m out of control. I haven’t bought anything in awhile but I have been window shopping like a madwoman. If you too are an Etsy addict you can look me up on the site under the username Phera if you want to add me to your circles.

Now that I’ve admitted my addiction as a first step to recovery I have to say how impressed I am with some of the things people create and put up for sale. Awhile back I mentioned my interest in beading but the necklace that restarted my fascination was this one made by the artist at Circe’s House. I’d absolutely love to steal her picture of the necklace just to show it off here but I respect how much work she did making the piece. I will be teaching myself how to do bead embroidery after I finish knitting some objects that I can’t post pictures of until after Christmas.

In my various Etsy forays, I’ve noticed I’m drawn again and again to the vivid blues, greens, purples, and reds. Minus the red, the colors are what I call the peacock colors. Apparently I have a peacock color palette fixation. My husband and his brother are anti-peacock because according to them peacocks are evil based on their mysterious ability to fly even with all those tail feathers and the sounds they make. If you’ve never heard that sound imagine a cross between a very loud housecat and a donkey braying or just listen to the video.

Besides wasting time on Etsy, I’ve started reading a new book. I meant to read Steve Jobs’ new biography next but I’d forgotten that I pre-ordered Brandon Sanderson’s new book called the Alloy of Law. It’s set in the same world as the Mistborne Trilogy but not the same characters so far. What really drew me in to his writing was the unique magic system he created for his world. I’ve been an avid fatasy fiction reader for  as long as I remember but I do get bored when the worlds are populated with elves, orcs, and dragons all the time. Sanderson’s worlds have been unique and I’ve really enjoyed the five books of his I’ve read. Also, he’s an avid blogger on his website where he’ll share his inspirations, and thought processes that go into his writing. It’s fun to read what triggers his imagination and how he translates those into his novels.