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Em got us new iPhone 4s this week! I love this phone. It's so fast and the screen is gorgeous. And the camera! So much nicer than the one in my old one. Below are a few pics I've taken with it so far. I'm particularly fond of the one of Em. She would have just been a big black blob against the sky if I had taken that with my old phone. Woot.

sunset outside of LPI when I was leaving work

Em :) [her shirt says, "Never wish upon a ninja star." Awesome.]

Apollo on his favorite spot, a giant stuffed dog Em sent me when she was living in Minnesota

sunset from my apartment

my new watch!

Apollo in a box


Jun. 6th, 2010 06:02 pm
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Warning: this will be very picture-heavy.

Graduation started with my parents coming into town and meeting me up at work so they could take a look around LPI and meet everyone. Then we got some lunch and headed up to my department's graduation reception at Rice. I got to see Janne and Francis before they headed back to France and one of my favorite students, Jordan.

Francis, me, and Janne (Mom's camera)

Janne and me (iPhone)

Jordan and me (Mom's camera)

It started pouring down rain as we were leaving Rice. In the case of rain during graduation the next morning, it would have been moved from the lawn inside, and only two people per student would be allowed to attend. This was a problem as I had my parents, my brother, my aunt, uncle, and cousin Erin. And since I would have been up most of the night preparing for the party at my apartment and then had to have gotten up at 5am to be up at Rice in time (not to mention my parents have seen me graduate three times prior to this one), we decided to skip the ceremony and get some breakfast and just hang out at my place. It was a hard decision for me, since it will most likely be my last graduation, and I solicited opinions from Em, Sara, Mom, Dad, Grandma, Steph... pretty much anyone who would talk to me. I think it ended up being the right decision, though. We actually ended up getting to spend more time together than if we had gone to the ceremony.

The actual party was lovely. Mom and Andy helped me quite a bit with the food. Dad even ironed my shirt because I was too busy cooking to do it. And Matthew got the plates and silverware out and lit candles around the apartment and didn't burn down the place. Erin came in and helped make spinach artichoke dip, Steph and Christi helped set up the drinks, and Justin corralled the cats into the guest room. Once all that insanity settled down, it was fantastic. We had enough food to feed a small army: puff pastry breadsticks (sesame seed and parmesan cheese), asparagus spears wrapped in puff pastry strips and baked, cantaloupe balls wrapped in prosciutto, cherry tomato-marinated mozzarella ball-basil skewers, chocolate-covered walnut cream (semi-sweet, milk, and white chocolate varieties), the aforementioned spinach artichoke dip with pita chips, an assortment of olives, some grapes, wine, soda, and beer. Most of the recipes were from a cookbook Steph lent me, and she helped me come up with some good wine choices. Juliane and Justin brought over several desserts, including a sea turtle cake (awesome!!). It was quite the successful event. Pictures are below.

some of the food

Justin and Juliane

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em and i are finally getting through our backlog of six weeks of glee and this commercial caught our eye. we ended up watching it three times because it's freaking hilarious! and so true!


Jun. 2nd, 2010 04:49 pm
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emily, juliane, and i went up to nacogdoches on friday. we went through downtown at sunset, took a trip out to the observatory, and em and juliane got scuba training through diver's depot. it was great fun. i got to be the divemaster for the trip so i got to help teach, which was a blast.

i got a second steroid shot into my spine this morning for my herniated disc, so i haven't gotten the pics off my camera yet, but below you can see our trip in iphone pictures. enjoy!

awesome antique cash register



downtown nacogdoches


em and juliane in the pool at diver's depot

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the last few weeks have been insane. steph had a birthday. i got her an awesome present. andy had a birthday. i made him dinner. i had a birthday. we had a little party at work, which was fabulous. i had a graduation, complete with party with family from out of town and madness all around (and really good food - more on that later). em's brother graduated today, so she's in boston, coming back tomorrow evening. i have pictures of many of these events, which will be posted at some point, but maybe not until june. we got a new person at work, with whom i am currently not impressed. we shall see how long she ends up staying. tuesday steph and i leave for dc for a conference that we are running and have spent the last several months putting together, which is terrifying. especially since new person at work severely screwed up on friday and had to start over, making what should have been a half-day job now go into day three. i'm anticipating tomorrow being a 14-16 hour day at work.

the weekend after next we'll be in nacogdoches getting em scuba certified, and my friend juliane is going to be taking a refresher course. i'll get to relax some then, and get a little diving in, which will be fabulous. it's been entirely too long. my tooth cracked (while i was minding my own business drying my freaking hair) on friday. and i'll need another cortisone shot into my spine for my herniated disc because it's apparently such a large bulge that the doc didn't really expect that it would be fixed with just one. super. those things will have to wait until after the 23rd when i'm back from dc, and maybe into june. oy. so, i'm still alive, but have a million fires to put out, and my firehose isn't nearly big enough. things should settle down significantly in june, which will be nice because i have a ton and a half of pictures i'd like to get online. including pics from my trip to the northeast over christmas. i repeat: oy. i'll elaborate on most of the things i mentioned at a later date. and just because i feel right now as if i'm incapable of posting without a picture, here is an iphone photo of the gorgeous tulips steph got for my birthday:

and now, i'm going to pass out for a few hours so i can start the madness that will be this week. night, all.
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Juliane, Em, and I went down to Galveston to the NOAA Sea Turtle Facility's open house this afternoon. They had the most adorable baby sea turtles and beautiful adult turtles!




more!!! )

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a couple weeks ago, em and i took a trip to austin. we went to mckinney falls state park, wandered around town lake overlooking downtown with sara, played with my dog crash, and stopped in a few fields of bluebonnets on the way home.

downtown with sara and em




a road named for one of my favorite schist units

enjoying the sun, the wind, and my freshly-cut hair



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two years

Apr. 11th, 2010 03:34 pm
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em and i had our two-year anniversary last month. it was a nice weekend. we went to watch my alma mater compete in basketball playoffs, took some pictures in downtown houston, and went to galveston. i made her a book of pictures from our first two years, which you can view here (~20mb pdf file).





more downtown! )




more galveston! )


Apr. 10th, 2010 12:00 am
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my new doctor rocks. i went to him for my herniated disc and bronchitis. first appt with him was wednesday. he called me talk about some of the meds he prescribed wednesday evening. i called back to the same number later that night to get him to call in some pain meds for me, expecting to get a machine, but he answered. turns out it was his cell. so he called in the meds. i texted him earlier tonight asking if i could take them more often than directed because i was hurting, and didn't expect a response until monday, or maybe tomorrow if i was lucky. but he actually texted me back at 10:30 on a friday night. he's a keeper.

new office

Apr. 9th, 2010 11:36 pm
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we moved offices at work a couple weeks ago and i'm starting to settle in to my new place. once i get my new bulletin board hung up i'll take pics of my new space. my desk is nicer than what i had before and i have a bit more drawer space, but less overall work space. so far it's alright, but i've been doing mostly computer work since we moved in and nothing where i need to spread papers out everywhere. i'm anticipating using the floor a lot for that sort of work. i did get a new palm tree, which has been named king richard (he's a majestic palm.), which i wrapped in white christmas lights, and a new desk lamp, so my area looks pretty spiffy. king richard casts all kinds of fun shadows on my desk in the morning. i like it.

downsides. it is so much louder where we are now. my group had our own little area before and were separated from everyone else by a common room, and now we're all on the hallway. and, the walls are much thinner. so i'm going to need to get some noise-canceling headphones because my little earbuds that came with my phone aren't quite cutting it. i am sharing a wall with steph, which is nice because when everyone else has gone home we can just talk through the very thin wall and not mess with phones or getting out of our chairs (god forbid we should actually move.). we also have a small kitchen that's full of just random crap with a very inefficient microwave. steph changed into jeans and a tshirt (which i'm sad i missed while being home today - she's been in jeans several times but wasn't in a tshirt even when we were moving.) this afternoon and cleaned out the fridge and all the cabinets, so that should be better next week. i'm going to bring my microwave that was in my office at rice and is currently gathering dust in our garage up to work so we can have one that actually works. that might happen next week. i'll have to get either andy or em to carry it up for me while my back is healing.

i'm sharing an office with christine, which has been okay so far because she was gone for most of the days that i was there, and then i've been gone almost every day she's been back. i very much miss sharing an office with andy and katy, but i go visit katy in her cube and stop by andy's office several times a day. katy was very upset last week because she found out she would be leaving us to go to meetings sooner than originally planned, so i got her a bunch of flowers and put them on her desk. when she got it she came and found me and said she knew they had to be from me and gave me a big hug. and almost started crying. so she liked them, which was nice. and i took one purple tulip and put it in a bud vase on steph's desk with a note that said, "because embracing the change isn't easy on you either." she's been fighting so hard for us, and especially in trying to keep katy, and i can see in her face that it's been hard on her, even if she won't let it show otherwise. and that was appreciated. and i learned she does not care for roses. steph and i were talking about how the management people running the move weren't taking care of the details, like nameplates, making sure the offices are painted, and cleaning out the kitchen, etc. and that makes people feel like they don't care. and that it's the little details that mean something, like when i brought flowers in for katy, and gave her one. so that made me feel good. we've got a good group of people, and i do care for them very much, and i know they care for me, too. they've all been very supportive of my back issues and asking if they can do anything. andy in particular has been a fabulous friend. he's come over every day since em is in new jersey and brought me food and watched tv and movies with me. he brought us deli food and revenge of the nerds tonight. it was good fun.


Apr. 9th, 2010 11:28 pm
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em and i joined a curling league here in houston! it's so much fun and is actually really great exercise! em is a champion curler - and even has a real silver trophy - from when she was in a league during grad school in duluth, and she wanted to join a league here. i figured i'd give it a shot too and it turns out i'm not too shabby! so i joined the novice league with her. it's great fun and i'm hoping my back will fix itself so i can actually play the rest of the season. i haven't gotten my real camera down to the rink yet, but here are a few pics from my iphone.

freshly painted curling houses

good luck to the user

em curling

me curling

em and me after curling
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Juliane, Em, and I were down in Galveston getting trained for sea turtle patrol and on our way home, we caught a gorgeous sunset!




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I made a seven-picture panorama of the downtown Austin skyline at dusk, and I can't decide if I like it better in color or black and white. I also got a decent shot of the moon, though I'm going to try again when it's not so full, assuming the clouds ever go away.




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We went to McKinney Falls State Park south of Austin a couple of weeks ago and hiked around in the gorgeous spring weather.

Upper McKinney Falls





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last week, i got tickets to go see the houston aeros play hockey on saturday for emily, andy, and me. then andy found out he had to stay in austin saturday night, instead of coming back saturday afternoon in time for the game. so, i had to find someone to take his ticket. problem is, just about all of my friends in the area are married and tend to want to hang out with their significant others, or they hate hockey. then i remembered a friend of mine from college, jennifer, lives in northwest houston and her husband, ryan, another friend from college, is in africa on business. i hadn't seen her since graduation in 2004 but we keep meaning to get together, so i invited her.

we met up for italian beforehand and then headed to the game. it was a blast! even though we hadn't seen each other in almost six years we picked up right where we left off. it was great fun. the aeros ended up losing (as i expected), but it was a great evening anyway.

on the way back home, we stopped at a grocery store to get a bottle of water and they had a coke display that was too fabulous to not take a picture. someone has a little too much time on their hands.

in other news, i have lost 21 pounds since starting work at lpi on january 4th. hell yes.
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so i'm finally starting to settle into my job and get a routine down, and as such i found time to start editing my pictures from the christmas trip. on new year's eve, we went to see emily's friend wally's band, screaming sunday, play. they were awesome! here are some of my favorite pictures.






more! )


Mar. 11th, 2010 08:27 pm
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the weather is starting to get nice here in houston, so i spent the last couple of weekends working on our patio. i planted herbs and strawberries and got a new palm tree (named mo) and a hibiscus. the herbs have started to poke through in the last week or so and now they're growing really quickly! i'm excited for them to get big enough for me to actually use. i'm going to take more pics this weekend of the strawberries and herbs. they've grown quite a bit in a week. i have a couple of panoramas but my stitching program was having issues so some of the lines aren't quite right. also, not shown is a small grill, which i use frequently, and a small table. oh, and a windchime with a hummingbird on it, a tribute to my awesome grandma.


herbs! this is thyme! when they get bigger, they'll come out of their tiny pots and go into a long rectangular pot, at which point i can replant the tiny pots with more seeds. fun!


mo, the new palm


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way back a month ago, there was valentine's day. we went to the beach, got some stuff from whole foods for dinner, and i made us a feast. rosemary garlic rack of lamb, baked mashed potato dollops, garlic parmesan green beans, and steamed carrots. possibly the best meal i've ever made. it was a very nice, laid-back day.

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my favorite dinosaur is the stegosaurus. always has been. in fifth grade, i wrote a series of short stories about a girl who used a time machine to go back to the time of the dinosaurs, where she befriended a stegosaurus that she named steve. eventually they both went back to the present, where hilarity and mayhem ensued. so, when we went to the natural history museum in new york, that was one of my top priorities to see.

and so, when today's cyanide and happiness comic was about a stegosaurus, i had to post it.

also, i seem to have gone through all of february without posting anything. oops.
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i went into work early today to get some stuff done for stephanie before her noon telecon. finished it an hour and a half early and she was very appreciative. i got a lot done on my project. after work i went to the gym and did two miles on the elliptical and 40 minutes of weights working on abs, back, and arms. then i stopped by the store and got a few things and came home and made dinner. cinnamon apple and sage pork tenderloin. it was tasty. iphone pic below. watched the new series spartacus on showtime that we had on the dvr and now it's bedtime.


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July 2010

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