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the food turned out amazing. the turkey was so juicy and tender we could cut it with a fork. check out this turkey magnificence, and the rest of the spread:

i have a lot to be thankful for this year. most notably, my dream job starting in january, finally getting out of school, great friends, and someone who matches me pretty perfectly in every way. i'm very lucky.

i'm excited that we still have an entire weekend to relax. em and i have a party to go to that one of her coworkers is throwing tomorrow night. should be fun. but that's all we're doing for the rest of the weekend. we got the house decorated for christmas today. all that's left to do is decorate the tree. we might do that tomorrow. we'll see.

oh, and hook 'em horns! we beat a&m, so as long as nothing goes wrong in the big 12 championship, we might get a shot at the national championship. quite exciting. colt mccoy had quite a game, so hopefully he'll get the heisman he deserved last year.

and now, i'm going to go relax in bed. :)


Nov. 18th, 2009 03:55 pm
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there are six days until my defense and em sent me this awesome card:

i did a practice talk today and have some minor changes but the talk seems to be in good shape. i'm taking the rest of the day off. i'm tired and my brain hurts.

em and i got up at 2am on tuesday and headed down to galveston to watch the leonids meteor shower. there weren't a lot of meteors, but i got pictures of a couple. and it was freezing! the cold front had just come through, so it was nice and clear, but very cold. for iso 6400, i'd say beefy did an awesome job. there was so much noise at 800 (don't even think about using 1600) on my old camera i never went above 400. it's nice having more options now.

leonid meteor (long streak in the upper right) over boats in the gulf of mexico


sirius (bright star on the left) and orion


orion (bright fuzzy object near the center is the great nebula in orion)


leonid (streak in the upper left) and orion


lastly, someone on my flist sent me this song and it made me chuckle. thanks, ilysse!


Nov. 12th, 2009 01:40 pm
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i can't believe i forgot to mention this! i got a sweet new camera before we went to arizona! it's a canon 7d and it's awesome!! it's freaking huge and heavy, and thus has been named beefy. what's nice is that the kit lens that came with it was a lens i was actually planning on purchasing for $600 before i knew the camera was coming out, and with the camera it was $200. score! it's a nice lens, too. i had fun with it on our trip. i also like that the camera does hd video. i took the video below on az87 going north out of scottsdale. it's a nice, winding road that goes through the mountains. makes for nice views, though it was a bit bumpy. the song is "that's what's wrong" by good old war. a larger version is on youtube.

AZ scenic drive from Heather Dalton on Vimeo.

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we had some spare time in arizona so we spent a few hours at the phoenix desert botanical gardens. they had a monarch butterfly exhibit, and i got some pictures of all the cactus and desert plants.









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the next day we left the harvard hotel, drove by the fort davis city hall building, and took the scenic route back to i-10 through the davis mountains.







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on our way out to arizona from houston, em and i stopped for the night in fort davis, tx. we saw a gorgeous sunset with some amazing mammatus clouds and stayed in the fabulous harvard hotel.










Oct. 22nd, 2009 03:01 pm
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the arizona trip was great, though exhausting. i'm slowly making my way through all of the pictures. i'm editing the pictures from beck's wedding and vintage-vegas-themed party, and then all of the pretty pictures i took for myself. below is a 7-image panorama of the desert at sunset in lost dutchman state park, taken after the wedding. click it for a larger view.

it's friday

Oct. 2nd, 2009 03:25 pm
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i'm ready to go. em's headed this way in an hour or so, and we're going to go have giant salads from barnaby's for dinner. mmmmm.

this weekend...
some work, some applications, some football-watching. my canadian friend sam is in town and she'll be leaving sunday, so i think she's going to come down to my apartment on saturday to meet the cats and get some pictures taken. probably a meal will be involved. i'll have to figure out where to take a vegetarian in clear lake.

photographer chase jarvis has created a new iphone app for editing photos and a web community where you can upload them. i've got a link to my photography site on my page, so hopefully i'll get some traffic that way.

these are some of my recent favorites:

thunderstorm coming in

spotlight at the britney spears concert

downtown houston

blink 182/fallout boy/all-american rejects concert

mushrooms in the grass at rice

we got a little grill for the patio, and i've been doing a lot of grilling. steaks, corn on the cob, bread. good stuff. i'll be branching out into different meats soon. also, i've discovered pomegranate lemonade. it's tasty and a fun shade of neon pink.

a couple other random things. my friend morgan and i were chatting in the student center and sat down at a table. there was a box on it and we figured they were party napkins or something. we opened the box, and inside was a giant blue gemstone. probably leaded glass. very heavy. very blue. very random. unfortunately, neither of us carries an electron microprobe or mass spectrometer with us, and taking it would technically be classified as stealing, so we don't know what it was.

and then on 09/09/09 there was a double rainbow when i was driving to school. it was pretty. i took a picture with my phone while driving, which came out okay. it's too bad i didn't have my nice camera with me.

lastly, i went to my first rice football game last saturday with my canadian friend sam, her canadian friend sarah, emily, and our neighbor liz. we lost but it was a good time. the band was so tiny though! and they had electric guitars, a cello, and a ton of violins. strangest thing. here's a panorama i took with my phone. sam and sarah are on the left, and em and liz are on the right.

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i finally got some pictures of the apartment! the kitchen, living room, and office anyway. bedrooms and bathrooms will come at some point.

living room









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the rear-ending incident resulted in my back muscles being sprained. weeee. i've got some muscle relaxers, and the doc only wants me at school for half days. i'm supposed to spend the rest of my time lying down resting my back. since i've got group meeting at 5 today, i'm just now getting to school, which is nice. mwf i ta from 9-10 so i have to be at school early, so then i leave at 2 or 3. a bit more than a half day, but oh well. i've got stuff to do.

all of my reading groups and group meetings have been moved to the afternoon except for one at noon on fridays, freeing up my lunchtimes. em's been coming and picking me up for lunch one or two days a week, which has been really nice. it breaks up the day.

the class i'm ta-ing is a 101 class with not a single science major among them, which is not uncommon. what is uncommon is that they're asking thoughtful questions and actually putting in effort to understand things. i even got emailed questions about the first homework assignment. i'm used to sfa and asu students who barely show up, ask questions that just show they weren't listening and hadn't read anything, and don't ask anything outside of class until right before an exam. this is a nice change. i expect that from upper-level students but i was pleasantly surprised getting it from freshmen liberal arts majors and football players.

i got a 32-inch samsung lcd tv for the bedroom this weekend, and em got a new dresser. it's so pretty! we had the 42-inch in the living room and then my old crappy tv in the bedroom that's dying so it's very dark, and red and black are pretty much the only colors. the new one is so big and bright and vibrant! no more, "i want to watch this show/movie, but i want to lie down so i have to pick because it's too dark to watch in the bedroom and see anything." exciting. :)

found a new band, at target of all places. i was listening to their demo music on some bose headphones and heard "tell me" by good old war and "best of everything" by barefoot truth. so i got their cds off itunes and they turn out to be great working music. and good driving music too. a lot of good things have come from target. the tv was $50 off there. and it turns out they have really amazing meat in their grocery section! we usually get everything from heb, but we were picking up a couple things and were at target anyway so we went to the meat section. they had fantastic looking steaks so we got a couple and some corn and french bread. went home and i grilled everything up on my tiny little grill on the patio. YUM. the steaks were juicy and had great flavor, the grilled corn was nice and smoky, and the garlic bread was toasted. i also made homemade mashed potatoes, and em made an apple pie. we had a feast. it was fantastic. i'm glad we have the little grill now. i've missed grilling. and as fall comes and it gets cooler it'll be even more fun. woot. it's also small enough to take camping, if we ever find the time. this fall is pretty packed.

my cousin erin is coming in this weekend for a visit. em is taking me to see britney spears (i know, i know, but she loves her and she bought my ticket.) wednesday. the following thursday we're going to see blink 182 with fallout boy, the all-american rejects, and asher roth. october 8-12 we'll be in arizona doing the photos for my friend beck's wedding and post-wedding party. october 17 em is competing in dragon boat races with her company. october 23-25 we'll be in austin doing portrait sessions and seeing people. october 31 we're going to see brand new in concert. november 14 we're seeing ludo. em's dad might be coming to visit sometime in november. december 4 is the enlightenment? banquet my dept holds. december 12 we're seeing kelly clarkson is the thriving metropolis of beaumont. then in late december we're taking a giant road trip from texas to new jersey/new york/pennsylvania for christmas. stops in atlanta and washington, dc, probably on the way back. it's busy. i think camping will probably have to wait until the spring.

sara got a new car yesterday. a steel-colored civic hybrid. i'm glad. she's been driving a kia for several years and it kept breaking and had some pretty major problems, like not being able to stop in the rain, even with new tires. i always worried about her when she had that car, so i'm glad she's gotten something more dependable. she has yet to send me pictures though. i'll have to get on her about that.

we had some storms come through last week and i got a couple pictures of the light shining from outside through rain on the window onto em's face. i think they turned out pretty cool. just slightly blurry from the long exposure.

it looks like i'm going to get some work in houston for a change! i was telling one of my geology buddies about my website, and another girl that's in the dept was there and said that she and her fiancee hadn't gotten their engagement pictures done yet. i sent her my website so she could see my stuff, and we'll see what happens. it would be nice to have something local, rather than traveling every time for a shoot.

back to work.
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in our living room over our couch we have a picture wall with a dozen 8x10 pictures. previously, they had been all in color, but we decided to get a new set of different pictures printed in black and white. they look so much better! the color ones were nice but all of them in black and white makes them seem more like a set. below are the ones hanging on my wall, as well as two in a double frame on another wall in the living room.







more )

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emily, sara, and i headed down to the blanton museum of art at the university of texas last weekend and got some fun portraits at an art installation there. it looks like this (not my picture). much fun. it was called a sculpture, which was a disagreement between sara and em, because sara doesn't think attaching a bunch of yellow tubing you can get from home depot to a frame was a sculpture, but em thought if you put anything together from pieces it was. but anyway. it was a great place for pictures.












Aug. 20th, 2009 12:28 pm
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apollo is getting bigger! he's still much smaller than tater tot and kepler, but he's definitely growing!





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emily and i went to a park near our apartment and she had fun running and jumping all over the place.




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last weekend when i was in austin i took portraits of the king family. she had been my emt teacher when i was a senior in high school. her daughter was 10 at the time and is now in college. crazines. we started out doing studio pictures in their living room and then moved to mayfield park. their dogs were very well trained and enjoyed having their photos taken too.















more! )
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em and i went to see phantom of the opera in downtown houston on saturday. after the play we went out to a fountain near the theater to take some pictures.

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i had a great day at school on friday, and since em's birthday was on thursday, we decided to head down to the beach on saturday. we stopped for lunch at mccallister's first and then went to galveston island state park. we had a great time. the water was warm and we swam, floated around on rafts (got pounded by some waves when we floated where it was too shallow), threw a ball around in the water, and got some sun. later we grilled up some hot dogs. couple of problems with the hot dogs. 1. the freaking seagulls took two of them OFF OF THE GRILL. they just swooped down and grabbed them. and, 2. we forgot the buns, so we just had the meat. oh well. we had s'mores and waited for the sun to go down so i could get some sunset pictures. it was a good time. and then sunday we were completely exhausted, and i'm still pretty tired today. but it was worth it. it was nice having a day off.

giant bucket of tea from mccallister's (iphone photo)

seagulls on fence posts

seagulls on fence posts (iphone photo)

driftwood on the beach


seagull over the gulf (iphone photo)


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apollo went to the vet today and they think something is wrong with his hip, and there is atrophy of the muscle in his leg. so, they gave him some pain meds and something to lubricate the joint. he gets xrays tomorrow morning so hopefully we'll know more tomorrow afternoon. poor little guy was very brave during the shot into his fat, but cried during the shots into his muscle. he got some treats when he got home and then napped this afternoon with tater tot, so he seems to be okay.

iphone photos

under the bookcase in my office (3.5 inches tall). other than his ears he has an inch or more of clearance

apollo and tater taking a nap


Apr. 26th, 2009 02:27 pm
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i finished my paper! i am currently plugging away at my homework. i have a couple small things i'm confused about so brian's on his way over and we'll see if we can work it out together. the house is spotless and the grocery shopping is done. woohoo for being productive!

so, what's left is to finish my homework, write two small critiques of papers, and type up one page of handwritten notes. easily done by tomorrow afternoon, i think. exciting!

em bought a new hat! it's spiffy!

awhile back, em entered a contest to win a car. she didn't win the car, but we had to go down to galveston and listen to a timeshare presentation, which we did not buy, and she won a free cruise to mexico, 4 nights in a 4-star hotel in oahu, $100 in gas gift certificates, and a $40 american express gift card! so we have two trips to take in the next year! along with phoenix in october for beck's wedding and new jersey for christmas, plus we're taking a cruise with sara over her spring break in march, and i've got to go to agu in san francisco in december. lots of travel in the near future! i'm excited!!

on the way back, some pelicans were flying over the gulf as storm clouds were starting to roll in, and i got a neat picture.


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