Today is the first day I baked brownies from scratch. Usually I use a box - which is odd because I do cakes and muffins from scratch generally.... Anyway, they came out alright but a little more cake like than i would have preferred. And thinner. So i already have plans for the next batch!

Still, they came out decent enough, and here you can see the chopped walnuts and powdered sugar on top. yummy. :)

Today was a momentous day in the June household. Jack was caught and freed.

In the winter a baby mouse and wandered toward the door of their slider and Dan and Sherry took him in and gave him shelter after much debating. For 7 months they had this cutie (if you know anything of me I have a soft spot for rodents - especially mice and rats). They fed and cared for him ensuring that he would survive.

Now the exact details I am fuzzy on - but needless to say he escaped after they had had him for 6 months or so (they were ever the escape artist when I had them as a child). They have been trying in vain ever since to capture the guy. However, if you have ever had mice you know that they are intelligent and tricky. They will nibble the incentive you place on a trap right down to the metal, never setting it off. It can be frustrating.

Tonight however, after moving the trap they had several times around the apartment trying to see if they could catch him; he was caught. And shortly thereafter he was released to enjoy the remainder of the life he may not have been afforded had they not taken him in.

Today after class I headed over to a local anime con with Amanda called JAFAX ( This is their 14th year and while this is only my 2nd year attending, I'm impressed at the size of the event given that it is free.

Since we got there with half a day to spare we checked out a cosplay costume crafting panel, artists and vendors, as well as the cosplay contests and a few other things.

If this all sounds foreign to you, then you've never been to a con. If you have an interest, I'd highly recommend the experience. And not all cons are about anime, if thats not your thing.

Anyway, here is a shot of the stuff I picked up. A Trigun manga, vol 13 (I have 1-11), Trigun kitty mini-backpack/purse thingie (I think the cat is called Kuroneko), Kilala xmas ornament, and the JAFAX program.

I've been riding my bike almost every day for awhile now, trying to get 5 miles in at least, sometimes getting only a few and others getting 7.5 miles. Yes, I know that's not really a lot for a biker, but I'm out of shape and ramping up.

I kept assuming that my butt would get used to the hard seat, so I ignored it. And finally I just decided it wasn't getting any better - not even close - so I invested in a gel seat. While there a picked up a bike lock which I didn't have. Of course, my intent today was to not ride to get some homework done. We'll see how i feel in a little bit though....

My cousin has mentioned, on several occasions, his desire to start a reading "club" between him, his wife, and myself. Well, the book choice was finally solidified and it is Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.

I pretty flatly said I wasn't interested in a romance, and was told this wasn't one..but the cover says it is.... So Dan, if you're reading this - this book better be good.

Today I started the book, despite having it for a few days sitting on my nightstand, meaning to get to it. So far I'm not fond of any of the characters but am strangely interested in continuing....

This evening I headed over to Northeast Park in Kentwood with my bike to scope out the area. From reading the description it sounded as though there would be sufficient paved area to ride.

Well, ok, not exactly. There are trails of course. But they're gravel, grass, paved, and boardwalks. There was enough to ride on if I looped around a bit, which I did to assess what to take shots of.

So here is part of one of the boardwalks. I was just in love with how green this was. It looks almost like grass. Perfect grass you'd find on a golf course or something....

If you've ever seen Hitchcock's The Birds, you know how frightening this scene really is.

I was out at East Paris Nature Park today, trying to ride in the 90+ weather, and stumbled across some geese chilling in the shade. As I was taking out my camera to snap a photo, they spotted me and started to advance.

As you can see from these photos, they continued to slowly swim their way over to me. Hoping, no doubt, that I had a bag of bread stuffed in my camera bag.

Lucky for me some unsuspecting children and their grandparents were stopping by to attempt fishing. Since there were more people over by the bridge, they casually changed course. I'm sure they figured the odds of being fed were greater with a greater concentration of humans.

As a kid I always thought climbing on these balls of hay would be immense fun. Who wouldn't want to scale that thing, then jump from ball to ball (if they're close)? Or burrow in it and hide? So today while I was out riding the Paul Henry Trail near my old apartment I snapped a few photos of them.

As I started to think more on my childhood fantasy I realized that climbing on one of those would be itchy, uncomfortable, and well, not as glamorous as I had once thought.

Ah the joys of adulthood and the quashing of childhood fantasies.

Today was a good day. I got to spend time with Sherry and Dan, which is always fun and therapeutic for me. Daniel has proposed, twice, that we start our own book club. And if you're reading this Dan - yes we should. Pick za book.

Anyway, today we headed over to the East Paris Nature Park (or is it preserve?) to walk around. Sherry brought bug spray, but I dont know that it helped 100%, and we retreated after making two rounds through the paved area. Natalie loved it, and we got to talk about all kinds of things.

Here's a shot of a dragonfly they pointed out to me. This was shortly after the bugger had caught something and appeared to have been devouring it - not unlike what the mosquitoes were doing to us.

In the normal American tradition, there was a cook out today. I dont know why there is this stereotype where all men love to grill and so that's what they're expected to do for Fathers Day. Of course, the Mother's Day tradition of taking Mom out to eat (because no one else can cook? Or because she is never treated to a nice meal she doesn't cook?) confuses me as well.

Anyway, today I headed over to my parents house to enjoy time with my parents and little bro, as well as the always relaxed Dayzee (their dog). It was a good day, despite the heat, my lack of A/C in the car, and the long drive.

So here's a shot of my dad grilling up some meat on his grill that my little bro took.

There's a park near my apartment that's got a short trail that follows Plaster Creek. Its the same place I got lost and ended up walking 2 miles back through sidewalks with Dayzee a month or so ago.

The river was high, and muddy, and I didnt see much in the way of nature, aside from mosquitoes attacking.

Anyway, I got some good riding in and got to snap some photos. Here's a shot of a flower (I'm so not good with names or identifying nature)

So today I went and got some superficial maintenance done; a haircut and highlights. I've been doing it off and on for the last year or so, and this time I went with a few more foils and they're a little lighter. So my overall hair is a little lighter than maybe I would like it, but I like the effect of the highlights so....

Really, this is all in an effort to grow my hair out longer, which apparently means it needs to be cut more often. *sigh*

Today after work I headed out to northern Grand Rapids to The Score, a local sports bar (which is pretty snazzy with all its lcds and stuff, and I'm not even a sports fan) for some music (of all things). I met up with my friend Amanda to catch The Outer Vibe ( who were playing there. If you have the time or inclination, you should check them out sometime. They've got a pretty good stage presence (I'm not a huge fan of live music and I enjoy watching them), good vocals, and a pretty good overall sound.

So here's a shot in the back of the bar as the sun is setting.

At lunch today (as I often come home for lunch living not too far from work) I stumbled across this little guy. He was chowing down, steadily, on the corn I'd left out.

At first I spooked him, but within 5 minutes he was back, eating more and more. I got a whole sequence of shots where he would turn with his back to me, peek over his shoulder to see if I was still there, then shift sides.

Eventually, he either ran out of corn in front of him and had to turn around, or decided I wasn't a threat. Whatever the reason, here's a shot of him with corn in his mouth, fur a little wet from the rain.

Originally I was going to go biking today on the Kentwood trail over by my old apartment, but the parking lot was overflowing and I thought with my clumsy nature I'd be better off somewhere a little less crowded. So I headed over to East Paris Nature Park, which is relatively close to the trail.

While riding around there I stumbled across this contraption on the non-paved portion of the trail. I didn't cross it.

This isn't the best shot I've taken today, but it pertains more to what I've got to say than some leaves or pesto cavatappi dinner I crafted. It's about trying again.

See I'm terrible with plants. You give me a pet - its interactive and all that jazz. I can handle it. Plants? No. I'm awful at remembering to water them, change soil, and well, nurture them.

So here are two plants I bought - both that are supposed to be able to thrive in the shade and I'm starting over. Hopefully these two little guys fare better...

I plan on getting additional plants if these two do well. I need to get more stuff for this deck so its not so empty looking!

You know, I really really want to like things other people do. I mean, sometimes it would be nice to fit in so utterly and completely. But lets face it - that is so not happening.

Carnivals and fairs to me have always been fascinating. Not because of the stuff they have there per se, but the fact that people subject themselves to this stuff and they like it. Don't get me wrong, maybe I would feel differently if I didn't get motion sickness. But I do, so I don't.

Every ride (and I mean every ride) present at the Rockford Start of Summer Celebration is intimidating to me. The Ferris wheel is the least of which, although even that scares the crap out of me cause I'm up so high.

Here is a shot I managed to snag, shortly before realizing how high up I was, what a wimp I've always been with these things, and the fact that Nathan brat of a cousin for rocking the car....

Still, I did have fun wandering around, watching Ashley (and well pretty much everyone else) ride rides.

Today was a day of cooking, I suppose. This whole week has sort of been like that. Making refried beans, bbq chicken, all the while still having some food in the fridge to eat up. I mean I have ribs sitting in the fridge waiting to be cooked up tomorrow. Anyway, today was no different. I've had some sour cream sitting in the fridge for a little over a week waiting to make sour cream coffee cake.

I also thought I'd try my hand at home made pesto. I plan on adding noodles and maybe parmasean crusted chicken to the mix early next week.

Of course, I just live with my cat and ferret, so its really just me left to scarf down all this food. So I've been cooking and freezing half of the meals I make for later. I just know I'm going to hit a point where I dont even want to think about cooking - so it will come in handy. I go through phases like that....

You know, as a kid I always loved those cotton wood seeds (is that even what they are? I have no idea). They look so soft, so fluffy. Kind of always made me think of a cloud in reach.

So I noticed after my ride that these little buggers were gathering in the grass, just forming their own little group wherever they got stopped.

So here's a shot of a few mingling with grass outside of my apartment. Its a pity these guys cause such issues for some people and their allergies.

Today in my hands finally is the folding bike I ordered. I had previously ordered a different, cheaper model online only to have it ship missing parts and other things. So I set out again, this time with a brand I knew was good.

Its the Espresso, and last years model, so it was cheaper than the retail price you typically see. The bike went in for a tune up, which according to Dahon is required to activate the extended warranty. Probably just to ensure that everything is working right prior to your first ride so you dont do unnecessary damage.

Anyway, here are a couple of shots of it. I'd have liked to take them outside somewherenicer than my bathroom. But its rainy and kind of dark out there and I'm not riskin' the camera.

So as you can see from the shots, it folds up pretty nicely. Its a full size, which is why it may look larger than other folding bikes you've seen. The pedals fold up, and I'm pretty sure the wheels have quick release on them if need be.

Now I just have to time my commute to work.

Well I thought perhaps I'd have something interesting to share about the bike I bought - but I was unaware that in order to activate the extended warranty it needs to be checked by a professional prior to the first the shop it is for the moment having a tune up (who knew pedal bikes needed such in depth work? Apparently I'm behind the times).

So while chilling, doing homework and watching some John Candy movies I saw these bunnies out back running around playing. There were 3 total, chasing each other and looking like they were having a good time. They were pretty good sports at letting me take their photo. I sat out on the deck and took about 100 shots... So here's one of the guys basked in the setting sunlight.

Today was a pretty good day. I hung out with an old co-worker for awhile and swapped advice, acting as one anothers therapists, creating garage sale signs. Then she left to hang with some friends at the bar and I, wrapping up for the night, was going to go home and be lazy.

Instead, however, I ended up hanging out with Shelly which was good fun. We ended up going over to the bar for a bit and hanging with some people, then back to her place for some more socializing and therapy.

I guess that's what friends are for! It was good for me to get out and get some things off my chest and I hope that was the same for my friends.

Today has been a rainy day. It was raining and thundering when I woke up this morning, and the later in the afternoon, and again in the evening.

Even while enjoying my cousin's company we were interrupted by the thunder - albeit briefly and because we thought it was something Nat was doing.

All in all its been a pretty rainy day - but that's not to say it wasn't good. Got a lot of things done and taken care of and that's always a good thing.

So here's a shot from my car of the rain when it was starting back up this evening.

Today my parents came out to GR with my little brother and his girlfriend. We hiked over to Frederick Meijer Gardens to look at the flowers and sculptures.

If you're not familiar with the place you should look it up online and visit if you're in the area sometime. There are some activity areas for kids, and plenty of plants indoors and out to look at. In the outdoors is the sculpture park with large, and interesting, creations. I've only been there a few times but it seems like they're ever expanding.

All in all it was a good day - although at the beginning it was sprinkling a little bit. Here's a shot of a rose with some rain drops on it I ran across while walking around.

After class today I headed back down to the GR Festival of the Arts with Sherry and Natalie. We wandered around and listened briefly to some music.

A little after this shot was taken it started to rain. Which, so I've been told, seems to happen often during this particular weekend.

Anyway, here's a random shot of some kids painting.

This weekend is the start of Grand Rapids annual Festival of the Arts. Everyone who is from around here apparently just calls it "festival" (which is a personal peeve of mine since that's vague and could be referring to so many things in my mind but oh well).

So I was invited to hang out with Amanda and some of her friends and with nothing going on I thought sure, why not. We checked out the Art Museum and heard some music from afar.

All in all it was pretty good, considering I got there at 630ish and her friends daughters bedtime is 830 so we took off.

And tomorrow I'm going back out there with my cousin Sherry.

Today I experimented with crafting a buffalo chicken pizza. I think it turned out pretty good. I always love being able to use the bread machine and craft something tasty at home. Waay cheaper than buying it!

Anyway, I used wheat flour (hence the dark coloring) and had a little difficulty getting the dough to rise, so its a not perfect in the pan (dont have pizza pans...just cake pans :P). But the mixture of hot sauce and blue cheese dressing mixed with chicken chunks makes up for the less than perfectly even crust. Since I didnt feel like going shopping, I mixed cheddar and mozzarella cheese, hence the coloring. Next time I think I'll try to add celery to it as well.

All in all I think it was a success.

You probably are wondering what all those weird splotches on the closet doors are? Well, they're flashcards taped up in a somewhat flowchart. I've never been a huge flash cards person - hell I have horrible study habits in general cause I never really needed to. But I'm trying to put more effort into school and I thought that perhaps grouping the concepts visually (in a place where the cat cant quite attack) might help.

So here are a few groupings for my Torts II and Civil Procedure class. I'm going to have to put contracts on a completely different wall cause I'm going to run out of room....but its a start.

And yes, in that corner is an eager cat staring up at a parkeet cage.. *sigh*

I haven't owned a sheet set with comforter/skirt that matches since I was in high school and my mom got me a set for my twin. So it was high time I invested in a new set. After searching around I finally got frustrated enough to settle on something through Kohl's (<3 you Georgia). So here's a pic of it in the newly arranged bedroom. It came with a whole plethora of things - 3 decorative pillows, a few sets of sheets, pillow cases and then the fancy sham thingies which are just glorified pillow cases.

The hamper is pretty new too. Its a snazy one from World Market I picked up with a divider (wasnt necessary but maybe now I'll actually separate my clothes properly for the wash). Of course its off to the side while I'm slowly teaching the cat that it is NOT a scratching post.

And that weird cage off to the right? Yeah that's the ferret cage. I have a 2 bedroom apartment and I seem to always put the ferret in the bedroom. Habit I guess from living in more craped quarters.

Today I hung with my cousins Dan and Sherry, enjoying their company. Per usual, I forgot to snap any photos. :/ So no shots of Dan working his mojo on the Quest?On (I hope thats right! ><) deck or shots of the cute Natalie, hamming it up.

Instead here's a shot of my leftovers from eating at Noodles & Co. They're pretty tasty and I should try to teach myself some of the recipes - would be cheaper and healthier.

Also in the shot are some books Dan gave me. They're all poems, of which I'm not the biggest fan. But they're in both German and English, so thats appealing to me.