Kilimanjaro Safaris

Los Angeles, I am in you!

So... hello from LA!

I arrived a few weeks ago, found a little place near Culver City, signed my lease, and started work! It's definitely an adjustment, but I'm having a blast. It's wonderful to be living near friends again!

Work is crazy - I'm apparently the only instructor that the natural history museum hired this year who doesn't already have a teaching credential, so I definitely feel like I have a lot of catching up to do. Each week of camp has a different curriculum, so there will be no settling into a routine. But there's tons of different things to explore! This week I'm actually teaching at the La Brea Tar Pits, so I had a pretty good geek-out on Friday when I was there getting oriented. I remember reading about it as a child, and now I'm working there! /nature nerd

I'm also having fun exploring the city on my own! I've done a few hikes and am already planning more. Last night, some friends and I went to a radio broadcast performance of Kindertransport (by LA Theater Works), starring Jane Kaczmarek, Molly Quinn, and Susan Sullivan. It was emotionally-brutal, but all of the actors did a phenomenal job. We were definitely in tears. It was such a small, intimate theater, and on top of that, having no sets/costumes/props, it was all on the actors to pull it off, and they did so in high fashion. We hung around the lobby chatting for awhile afterward. Talked to Susan Sullivan for a bit, who was SO excited that we were Castle fans discovering local theater highlights. She was an absolute sweetheart, welcoming and chatty. She also ran over and told Molly Quinn that we were there, and she came over to say hi as well. We thanked her for letting us know about the show (we heard about it from her Twitter), and then we chatted until they kicked everyone out of the lobby. Just a really wonderful night, with an amazing show!

Artwork continues! I got a scan of my snowy owl painting, and it is now available as a print here! I'm going to be putting the varnish on the painting today, and then hopefully I can offer it for sale or exhibit somewhere once that's dried. I've got a couple of other projects in the works - another wildlife painting, and a small Castle piece just for fun.

I'm definitely missing my summer TV, though! I started a Farscape rewatch, because it's been far too long. Gah, I'd forgotten how amazing that show was! And I'm already counting down to the Castle season premiere... gotta read fanfiction to keep me busy in the meantime!

And finally, I'm counting down until Comic Con! Or, rather, NerdHQ, since I didn't get SDCC tickets this year. But I did finish my Kaylee costume, so I'll be rockin' that this year. Only going Saturday/Sunday, because work, but still SO EXCITED!
Castle - Morning Coffee

...and poof, it's been three months.

I really need to live someplace that has internet, so I'm not restricted to posting whenever I can squeeze in a trip to Starbucks.

My internship at the wildlife refuge is going well! The job is a breeze - perhaps a little too easy, but at $3.75/hr I better not have to work too hard.

I took a trip to Pinnacles National Park in late February, which was AMAZING. Seriously, that place is incredible. I need to go once more before my internship is done. Great views... and CALIFORNIA CONDORS. I think they're gorgeous, and was excited to check them off my life list, but I wasn't quite prepared for how humbling it feels to see a species that brushed extinction so closely just 20 years ago. There will definitely be a painting coming from this experience. For pics (including one of me at the top of High Peaks) click here!

Speaking of paintings... I finished another one! This is a snowy owl piece I did based off some photos I took up in Boundary Bay, BC last spring. The owl and the landscape are based off the photos, but the sunset sky and coloring are all from my head. It was an experiment for my style, but I think it turned out well!

I am also selling prints of my paintings! The snowy owl hasn't been added yet because I need to get it to an art scanner, but other paintings are available! These are all museum-quality prints, from professionally-done scans. Please check it out, buy a print, and spread the word! Link to the Prints Section of my Website

Still obsessing over Castle. Usually I get upset at a show as it progresses and veers off course, but this show just keeps getting better. It stays true to the story, and especially to the characters. Even the "clip show" episode they aired last week was so good that I actually cried. Seriously. If you're not watching this show, you should be. There's a reason fans say "In Marlowe We Trust" because the creator/showrunner just does not steer this show wrong.

Finally, my adventure in San Francisco will be drawing to a close in less than a month... but I'll be starting a new adventure in Los Angeles then! I've accepted a summer instructor job at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. They have dinosaurs there. I visited that museum in November, and it was an AMAZING place, and I'm excited to get to teach kids all about it! That will only be until August, but I'm hoping that I can find a permanent job in the area by then. In the meantime, I'm having minor panic (okay, not-so-minor) over finding a place I can afford to live. Wish me luck!
Castle - Morning Coffee

So... I'm alive?

Um... hi?

So I kind of disappeared from LJ for two years, like a secret agent. A really poor secret agent, whose glamorous life included working at an electronics store. I wish I were kidding. But really, I got distracted by Twitter and Tumblr and completely forgot about LJ. Whoops.

So, what have I really been doing?

In the last two years I...
...made two trips to San Diego Comic Con and NerdHQ
...developed an obsession with Castle, big enough to go to Castle Con 2012
...took three trips to Disneyland
...ran the LA Marathon
...went back to school for scientific illustraion
...moved to San Francisco for an internship at a wildlife refuge

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...which brings me to now!

I keep up a lot in other places on a regular (sometimes obsessive) basis, so here's where you can find me:
Wildlife Illustration Portfolio
Wildlife Illustration ("Professional") Tumblr
I'm also on Facebook a lot, but due to the nature of the beast, message me privately for the link, or search for me by name. (If I don't know your real name, tell me before you add me because I ignore friend requests from people I don't know.)
RDU - Sail

(no subject)

Hi, LJ Land! This is how Kirsten procrastinates: by giving attention to her neglected journal. :P

What am I procrastinating on? Well, I found out that UW actually has a 1-year Natural Science Illustration certificate program that I really want to apply for... so now I'm working on my portfolio. It's been neglected for awhile, so it needs serious love. Working on animal drawings... and trying to come up with a professional-looking website. I should probably get around to learning CSS now. Welcome to five years ago? I did finish this sea otter piece on DA. I have a clouded leopard piece, an alligator piece, and a Florida scrub jay piece going on now. Mmmm, art ADD!

Also, Twitter, The Nerd Machine, and Firefly DVDs facilitate distraction.

Running hit a bit of a slowdown, although not unexpected. My old shoes were finally kicking the bucket, so I broke down and got new ones - Saucony Progrid Guide 3. The hitch is, of course, that they still need to be broken in. :P Had a bit of a sore foot, so the long runs got cut short. And as soon as it felt better, we got 7" of snow, and so I was too lazy to couldn't go out and run in it. :P Trying to get back on track, though!

Finally got around to writing a Chuck fanfic, as you saw. I was having a "lay in bed until noon" morning, and that all ran through my head while I put off getting up. :p The show's been really up and down lately... I like the general direction they're going, but some episodes are really hit-or-miss. I just hope the show can squeeze out a fifth season. I think that is this show's eternal fate: to spend each season clinging to shreds of hope that it will get another. Also, I have decided that, until Zachary Levi sings on the show, it can't end. :P

Oooh, but I did score San Diego ComicCon tickets! I fought the epic battle with TicketLeap, and came out victorious! I have a 4-day pass, and now it's just a matter of saving up the money to get there and have fun! Definitely gonna get a Disneyland day in while I'm there, too - I still have a couple of comp tickets left, and I haven't seen World of Color yet. And the new Star Tours, Mickey's Soundsational Parade, and the Little Mermaid ride will be open by then. Epic win!

And reading! Haven't read as much lately, mainly 'cause I've been sketching on my lunch breaks. But I definitely have a giant stack of backlogged books to read.

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Also, why did I not learn of the awesomeness of the Dinosaur score before? This music is the perfect mood-setting for wildlife drawing. Way to fail at Disney music, Kirsten.
Kilimanjaro Safaris

(no subject)

So this is what I ran on today:

And this is what I want to run on May 1:

Mmmm... crazy-hilly training runs for a flat course. Rock on! ;) (Also: Burrard Bridge is that high? Really?!)

I'm also thinking of doing a half in March as part of my training. Mercer Island Half Marathon? Or Lake Sammamish Half Marathon? Can't decide! I may have to resort to The T-Shirt Rule: which race has the cooler swag? ;) (Come on, runners, don't lie: you know you've picked races that way before.)

...yeah, not much else going on besides running.

New episodes of Chuck are back... they're juicy, but I'm getting whiffs of late-series X-Files: too much obsession with a complicated mythology, and not enough fun monster-of-the-week episodes. Still definitely enjoying it, though! I wish this fandom had more good fanfic, though. I'm tempted to write it myself, but my attention span lasts about thirty secon - OOH! A BUTTERFLY! (What it lacks in fanfic, though, it does make up for in awesome like this)

I also have twenty million art ideas running through my head, and then my art ADD kicks in. Played a lot with Illustrator last week. Someday I will get good at that program!

Also, totally going to Salt Lake City for three days next week to visit a friend and get a little skiing in. So jazzed!
  • Current Music
    Huey Lewis and the News - Hip to Be Square
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Kilimanjaro Safaris

(no subject)

New year, new post! Woo! One day I'll remember to keep this thing updated.

Back and working at Half Price Books, until February, at least! It's good to see everyone there again! And oh, the reading crack...

Christmas was awesome! I finally got a smart phone - picked up a Droid 2 Global. (PS - new phone number! If you need it, message me or look on my Facebook info!) A full set of 120 Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils. Oh, they are amazing. *kicks her waxy Prismacolors to the curb* I also got a new CD player for my car, since my old one was kicking the bucket. A copy of "Zoo Story," "Stokes Field Guide to Birds," "Audubon Society Field Guide to the Pacific Northwest" (I loved their Florida one!) a few gift certificates, and Snuggie. Yeah, you can be jealous.

Getting back into running! See, the thing about running on a place called "Cougar Mountain" is... there's hills. Lots of them. Big ones. One of my regular runs has a segment that's about a mile, almost 200 ft elevation gain, and 7% grade. Ouch. Rarely can I make it up that without walking a couple hundred yards. Ah, well! It'll help in the long run! Starting to get into a training cycle for the Vancouver Marathon on May 1, so Van peeps - Kirsten wants to come play!! XD I also bit the bullet and put my name into the lottery for the New York City Marathon this year. My chances aren't that great, I know it can take people a few tries, but I've never been to NYC, and it would be awesome to run a race there...

Felt the drawing itch a lot lately! I've been playing around with some little cartoon animals (um, baby okapis are still freakin' adorable. Disney-style baby okapi character has invaded my sketchbook) I also tried out the new colored pencils on this drawing of Chuck and Sarah. Chuck has freaky eyes. Blah. Should do some more portraits to work on that. But I'm pretty damn proud of the hands. I usually suck at those! Had a request awhile back for a drawing of Emily (Ben's mom, Helen Mirren's character) from National Treasure: Book of Secrets, so I need to get going on that one. I've also been planning a big piece to celebrate WDW's 40th anniversary this year, and I'd REALLY love to get a piece entered in the Official D23 Expo Fan Art Contest.

And speaking of things art-y...

So I've come to the conclusion that I'd like to go back to school. Zookeeping is a super-competitive field, and while I love it, I don't have the experience or contacts to get a job in this economy. So I've decided I want to go back to school and study animation! I've loved it since I was little, and would love to do it for a living. So I'm looking at an Associate's degree program in Animation Art and Design at the Art Institute of Seattle. I've even considered their BFA in Media Arts and Animation, but money is a concern... I'm just curious if my college coursework would take out most of the GEs and make it much quicker. I really wanna do it... now I just need to figure out the financial side of it. $20k a year... yikes... In any case, I'm gonna see about getting down there in the next week or two or a campus tour and to talk to an admissions advisor. Fingers crossed!

Oh, and GO SEAHAWKS!!! :D
  • Current Music
    The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Out There
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Kilimanjaro Safaris

Kirsten Versus Chuck

Because when I get into something, I jump in headfirst... I've now completely caught up on all three and a half seasons of Chuck! WOO!! Hooked, and totally can't wait for the next new ep!

So, here's my little rambly thoughts. Spoilers for all US-aired episodes ahead!

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Also, I just read a Tangled article where Zachary Levi admitted that he is a "Disnerd" (the only people who ever even KNOW that word are the people who actually ARE Disnerds), that Aladdin was his favorite Disney prince (until Flynn Rider, of course), and then started quoting Newsies. Seriously? LOVE. SO MUCH LOVE.
  • Current Music
    National Treasure 2 - Cibola
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