Birthday Balloon, Los Angeles, California, USA

It was a wonderful birthday! Came home from dinner Thursday night to a surprise from a bunch of friends. Seriously, I was in shock for a good ten minutes. I had no idea! 'Was it a dream?', I kept thinking. Enjoyed all parts of the birthday celebrations. So, there goes another year... Time needs to slow down!

The Venetian Clock, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Outside of the Venetian is this intricate, beautiful clock which actually has 24 hours. For some reason, I have this fascination with clocks and their design and I absolutely loved this one!

"Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey.
It reminds us to cherish each moment,
because it will never come again.
What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived."
-Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: Generations

"Events in our lives happen in a sequence in time,
but in their significance to ourselves
they find their own order
the continuous thread of revelation."
-Eudora Welty, award-winning American author

BLOG UPDATE: This post actually marks my 200th post on my photo diary! Not all the posts were photos, but for the most part they were. I'm just as surprised as you probably are that I am still going at this! :)

Clown Fish, Tong's Tropical Fish Store, Fountain Valley, California, USA

More from the fish store in Fountain Valley!

Oktoberfest, Alpine Village, Torrance, California, USA

Straight from the streets of Munich, Germany, Oktoberfest made its way all the way to Torrance, California. Oktoberfest, held at the Alpine Village, is an event going on for 31 straight years. The huge beer garden was held under a tent, serving several types of beers to drink and different German sausages to eat, along with performances and entertainment throughout the whole time. Oktoberfest came about in Germany as a dedication to the fall harvest and the region's most famous product, beer. This wasn't my cup, but it sure was a good representation of all things related to the festival of Beers!

This Is It, LA Live, Los Angeles, California, USA

We just missed the coordinated Thriller dance at LA Live, but throughout the plaza, there were banners and walls for "This Is It", the Michael Jackson movie coming out in a few days. There were people dressed up in Thriller-inspired outfits and make-up and there was even a Michael Jackson look-a-like!

Fish for Sale, Tong's Tropical Fish Store, Fountain Valley, California, USA

Tropical fish are so beautiful with their multitude of colors! We even spotted Nemo, lots of him. :) Tong's Tropical Fish store had all kinds of different saltwater and freshwater fish and everything else you could possibly need to maintain an aquarium. In addition to fish, there were plants, eels, shrimp, crabs, among many other water creatures.

Downtown LA by Night, Los Angeles, California, USA

Right outside the entrance to McCormick & Shmick's Restaurant is this circular pond of water with a statue in the middle. I enjoyed the reflections in the water as well as the lightposts that turned into star shaped lights, just for the photo!

Blog update: Yes, the site is under construction and I came to the realization this morning that the comments aren't working. I'm working on fixing that... Hope you aren't all too sad you can't comment. I know I'm missing out on so many, or not... :) Please be patient as I figure out what I want to do with the design of my photo diary!

Deserted Cobblestone Road, Portland, Oregon, USA

As the trains whisked by, the cobblestone road became empty enough for me to be able to stand in the middle. This road was just outside the Portland Saturday Market located under an overpass.

Not necessarily for this photo, but it makes me contemplative...

"It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure,

to embrace the new.

But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful.

There is more security in the adventurous and exciting,

for in movement there is life,

and in change there is power."

Still, change doesn't come easy though.

Black Light Against a Colorful Wall, Union City, California, USA

It was a white wall splashed with an infusion of a vibrant purple-pink color. My cousin, Kimberly, started a project for her room and this is the color she decided on. With a sleek black light against the colorful wall, the contrast and drastic change could be felt. Love the color choice!

Colorado Street Bridge Through the Car Mirror, Pasadena, California, USA

Through the side car mirror, the Colorado Street Bridge was in clear view as it reflected onto the side window of the car as well. I love passing by this bridge! Recently, I ended up driving on this bridge and it conjured up memories of the night I came here to take pictures atop the bridge. This was also the night my camera took a tumble, but that's ok, because it's still working. :)

Stained Glass Window, Royce Hall, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA

Within the doors of Royce Hall at UCLA is this stain glass window facing out towards Powell Library. All the lights were off in the main lobby of the hall, so the only light was shining in through these windows of colorful circular designs.

A Game of Cornhole, UCLA v. Cal Tailgate, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California, USA

Six beanbags - three blue, three yellow. Two teams. Two cornhole boards. This is what makes up a game of cornhole. Tailgating for UCLA football games is always good fun. Despite the fact that we lost today, I still had a lot of fun before and during the game!

Blog Action Day 2009! - Climate Change, Cool Globes Exhibit, Los Angeles, California, USA

"Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something." ~Author Unknown
This globe at the Cool Globes exhibit in Los Angeles a few months ago is all about making a difference and doing something to stop global warming! This one was a collage of different signs, calling everyone to action. Today, October 15, is the third annual Blog Action Day, where bloggers unite with a common topic - making a difference in the world. This year's theme is "Climate Change" and so I thought this photo would be fitting. Its the little things each individual person can do (for example, recycling cans) that will contribute to CHANGE. For me, today is about thinking about my own actions and how I personally am responsible for what I do.
And remember, it shouldn't just take a planned day to think about climate change, but it can definitely help to start the conversation! Visit this site for more about this event:

Brahma Shrine Replica, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Located just off of Las Vegas Boulevard, outside of Caesars Palace, is a replica of one of Thailand's most popular shrines, the Brahma Shrine. The replica was a gift given to the Palace in 1983 by a Thai newspaper and Hong Kong High Roller. Many people come each year to provide offerings in order to hope for good fortune. It seemed odd to have this shrine there, but upon reading more about its history, it makes a bit more sense. Interesting part of the Roman Plaza!

Photo Diary Currently Under Construction

Please excuse the messiness of the website as I'm working on a complete redesign! Changes definitely to come!

Serendipity III, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

This was the menu at the famous Serendipity restaurant that has now arrived on the Las Vegas strip by way of New York City!

The Venetian Hotel Lobby, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Wide angle of the lobby at the gold-detailed lobby of the Venetian. :)

Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

The everchanging Bellagio gardens had these beautiful red flowers on display. At this time of the year, the display is inspired by autumn and the fall foliage of New England.

The Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

The Venetian has one of my favorite themes of hotels on the Las Vegas trip and this time around, we stayed at one of the suites here. The gondolas and architecture of the Venetian brought me back to my days in Venice of strolling through St. Mark's square and riding on the gondolas on the waterways of Venice.

Bleachers, Venice High School, Los Angeles, California, USA

This photo was taken from outside the gate leading to the stadium of Venice High. Through the wire gates was the long stretch of bleachers that is usually full of people. On a Saturday though, it was deserted except for the team practicing.

Root Beer Float, A&W/Long John Silvers, Bakersfield, California, USA

Delicious root beer float at an All-American diner (ok, it was just an A&W and Long John Silvers combo fast food place in Bakersfield). Yum!

Chandelier Light, Downtown, Los Angeles, California, USA

On a walk throughout downtown LA, I found this chandelier light fixture in one of the restaurants. I thought it looked pretty neat! Felt like it was out of an old movie.

Shapiro Fountain, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA

Can never get enough of the UCLA campus! :) This is the Shapiro Fountain in the Royce Quad, between Powell Library and Royce Hall. As with the first few weeks of school, there was a group of students behind the fountain doing a trust walk - possibly rushing for a frat?

Madonna, Mr. Brainwash's Studio, Los Angeles, California, USA

MBW. Mr. Brainwash. Eccentric French filmmaker. Street Artist.

Outside his studio on La Brea, at San Vicente in Los Angeles, is this artist's rotating canvas. Currently, Madonna adorns the outsides of the building, distinctly seen as we drove by. The art is black and white, but has so much character. The cover of Madonna's new greatest hits album, Celebration, was designed by none other than Mr. Brainwash, probably the inspiration behind this latest piece of art. His art is modern - with many of his works speaking out about the current: Obama, Lakers, Michael Jackson. I can't wait to see what he has up next!

CDs For Sale, Arts & Antiques Fair, John Muir Elementary, Santa Monica, CA

Happening the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month, this flea market is full of arts, antiques and various other items like this CD collection. I passed by signs for it, and thought it'd be interesting to stop by. With proceeds going to John Muir Elementary School to support educational programs, it was also for a good cause. At the market, there was everything from coins from around the world to dolls to antique jewelry to vacuum cleaners (with a sign that said "all items NOT guaranteed"). After being there for a while, the items being sold ceased to surprise me because I had gotten used to the oddities. Definitely an interesting mixture of items!

Lockers, Venice High School, Los Angeles, California, USA

Most famously known as the shooting location of the movie, Grease, Venice High School is located on Venice Boulevard in Los Angeles. These were a set of blue lockers located towards the front of the school, although they seemed mainly abandoned.

Bakersfield Sign, Bakersfield, California, USA

Today I was on a business trip - to Bakersfield. I know you're probably thinking how lucky I am to get to go there for work. A 115 mile drive north of Los Angeles, through the grapevine and miles of nothingness. At least there was more in Bakersfield than I thought there'd be. To make the most of my trip, I decided to bring my camera after seeing this cool sign welcoming me when I went there last week. So, after work duties were over and darkness had set in, I drove back to this sign, stopped alongside the road, and snapped away. As I did this, I heard a honk behind me as a Bakersfield Fire Department truck rushed by - but since I was in the middle of the photo, I just had to let it finish (there was plenty of space for it to drive by!). This is what I ended up with! Yes, the streaks of light towards the sign are from the fire truck...