God 2, Nissa 0

Olive died last night.

She was most likely sick since we've had her, and we were just unable to tell. That happens, especially since she was so young.

She was a great little rat while she was with us, and I'm very sad to lose her.







Spring Break Beach Day

While my schedule has been much more forgiving this semester, I was still pretty excited to find Spring Break waiting patiently for me after my midterm projects were handed in. With everything happening around here, I'm happy to make this week a little less hectic and a little more about doing things I've been meaning to.

I had been planning to take a couple of day trips during this week while David is also off work. Yesterday, we decided to drive down Hwy. 1 and the Pacific Coast without any real destination in mind. Those, my friends, are my favorite trips.

The minute our car left San Francisco County, I felt lighter. The sweet smell of eucalyptus trees and salty air can clear a heavy head fast. On 1, there's a quiet, scenic beach roughly every 2 miles. Stopped at the Pescadero State Beach beyond Half Moon Bay to take some photographs and bask in the sun for awhile.

Nissa and David, Beach Style

Seaweed, pescadero

Seaweed, Pescadero


After leaving the beach, we came across the Point Pigeon Lighthouse, which was beautiful wrapped in the afternoon fog.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse



Agatha's Death, with a Happy Ending

I know it's been a few days since I last posted and the last post was just a photo. I haven't really been up for talking about or writing about Agatha's death. Normally, writing helps me to understand my emotions about a particular experience but with this, I just don't want to talk that much about it. I think I'm just exhausted. Taking care of sick rat + death of rat + sadness + midterm projects = no sleep and bad mood.

The long and short of it is that she got deathly sick Friday. I took her to the vet Saturday to find out she had pneumonia. He gave me a syringe to feed her and 5 days worth of antibiotics to be injected but he didn't know if she'd live. Dave and I nursed her back to moving around and eating when she sadly and very tragically had an accident in which she became stuck somewhere she wouldn't have usually been stuck, and it killed her. Her body was weak and the worst possible thing happened.

Feeding Agatha when she was sick

Dave feeding Agatha sugar water to help her
build strength.

She'd been laying with me or Dave for two days straight, wrapped up in a blanket and eating out of a syringe because she didn't have the strength to lift her head. Losing her to a freak accident was so f'ng ridiculous. I'm really angry that it happened but glad that she was close to me before it - that we had those days of bonding like we hadn't had before. Her little body was usually to busy to stay in my hands for too long, but while she healed in the warm blanket, I got to spend more time enjoying her smallest features.

Agatha's Foot

Saying goodbye has been difficult on both of us as well as Suzanne and Margot. We'll never forget Agatha, she was a one in a million rat. I feel lucky to have had her with us for even the short time we did. I miss her so much. She was always the first to the cage in the morning, and the only one who let me pet her neck and belly before giving me kisses. :( Sad, very sad.

After everything, I decided to begin looking for a baby rat not to replace Agatha, but to spend time and attention on to keep from feeling sad. I was lucky to meet the perfect little lady this week, and she's now awaiting a name and getting used to her new home. She's so tiny, that her entire body fits in my palm.


It's such a painful experience to watch a pet die. But the benefits outweigh the negative a million times over, and I'm excited to bring this new baby in to our family. I think Agatha would approve.






2.1.08 - 3.9.09

The most wonderful little person without words who I've ever known.
She is loved tremendously and missed furiously.

Sleep well, little one. We will never forget you.



Ho Hum and a Couple of Rats

I hate January, February, March and the part of April that comes after my birthday. There's something about post-Christmas America that is horribly dull and depressing. No one has money, the weather is bad, and people are stuck between the festivities of the holiday season and when Summer begins.

That being said, I'm glad it's March. This Spring/Summer is ramping up to be a fun/productive one for me, so I'm basically counting the days.

Last week, I took a new job as a photographer's assistant for a local wedding photog. It's a great opportunity for many reasons, a few which are obvious and a few which are just possibilities that I don't want to share quite yet. But she's great, and I'm excited to work with her. Additionally, I have three of my own weddings booked for the Summer months.

My brother is graduating from high school on June 7th, and we're throwing a huge bash for him. I will return to my high school for the first time since graduating myself!

In other news, I'm turning 25 this year. A quarter century. *sigh* It brings me deep sorrow, as so many things I wanted to accomplish before this great age still remain only pipe dreams. It's more helpful to reflect on the things I have accomplished, I know; but why is it that each year seems to pass more quickly and with it, so many things seem to fall out of the realm of possibility? I wish I'd made better decisions, I wish I'd have known then what I know now. Obviously that's impossible, but the number 25 is like a screetching siren that warns me time is running out.

On that depressing note, I hope to leave you with some happy photos. Margot

Margot spent a few days in solitary confinement because she had developed some respiratory issues including discharge from her eyes. Generally speaking, symptoms like that are scary, because rats suffer from respiratory diseases chronically. Being as though Margot is hairless, however, her lack of well, fur, eyelashes and adequate whiskers makes for more sensitive skin, eyes and nose. We had been letting them chew up a cardboard tube, and I wondered if it hadn't irritated her. Thankfully, after placing Margot in a single cage and cleaning her eyes out, the discharge didn't return. So I imagine it was the cardboard.

It was interesting to see the rats mood while separated. Margot was much more gentile and caring while alone. She even spent 20 minutes sitting with me on my lap! Agatha and Suzanne, who stayed in the big cage, didn't fight or inflict violence in the cage once.


Agatha is a little mother. She cleans everyone from head to toe, and is the nest-maker of the trio. She's sensitive, caring and delicate. And she loves cleaning Dave's facial hair. It is adorable to watch her parse the coarse facial hairs with her little hands.



I will Conquer Part 32424242 - New Flash

David's band Borstal Holiday and our friend Kristy's band, Deeper, played a show last night at the Retox in San Francisco. It was my first time using the pro flash to photograph live music - and I was really, REALLY happy with how much easier it was - and how fantastic the photos came out.

I like using natural light whenever possible - until two weeks ago when I purchased my new flash, I never used the flash on my camera. It's horrible. All point and shoot flashes are horrible. So I have labored over aperture setting and ISO to get non-blurry, low light live music photos. My new f2.8 lens was a big help, but after using the new flash last night, I am a transformed woman.

The major difference between a point and shoot (or pop-up flash on an SLR like mine) is both the type of light and light metering as well as the angle and size of the flash. The 430ex is poseable in different angles, allowing for light to be bounced off the ceiling or other fixture rather than pointed directly at the subject. The photos you'll see below were done with the flash bounced off the ceiling. It creates a great, diffused light that simply awakens the colors and shoos the shadows on the subject - leaving the rest of the stage naturally lit.





Scott/Borstal Holiday


N and V's Wedding

On Feb. 13th, (which just so happened to be a Friday), I shot my first wedding. It was the perfect first time out for me, considering that the wedding was very small, and took place at the Oakland Courthouse. I had a chance to figure out what I was doing while still having enough time to get all of the shots I wanted and needed. It was a great time, and while I learned a lot (never let the bride and groom leave without you in the same car!) and definitely had some frustrating issues during the process, I really loved it. The couple were beautiful and together with their family created a loving and very special ceremony and celebration!

N and V Wedding

N and V Wedding

N and V Wedding

N and V Wedding

N and V Wedding

N and V Wedding


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