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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. 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

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



more! )

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. 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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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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hello from new jersey!

em and i got here safely last monday. we drove houston to mobile, alabama and stayed in a surprisingly nice la quinta. the next day we headed to atlanta and went to the botanical gardens, where i got some good pictures of the orchids (just about the only thing blooming), and the aquarium, where i finally got to see whale sharks! they're huge! and they have a program where you can dive in the tank with them, so we are so going back so i can do that! some people were diving with them while we were there so we could see how big the whale sharks were with something we knew the size of for reference. and they are BIG. and so very cool. stayed in a four-star hotel and feasted on steak and seafood and felt quite fancy.

the next day, we drove to richmond, virginia, and stayed in an AMAZING hotel. it was gorgeous., people. four-star hotels for $50. and, we got there about 12 hours after the giant snow had stopped, so it was a winter wonderland. it looked like something out of a postcard. i'm still going through the ones out of my real camera, but i took these with my phone.

the following day, we headed up to new jersey. we drove through baltimore and i got a couple of fun pictures.

lots )


Dec. 6th, 2009 10:48 pm
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tonight em and i decorated our christmas tree. then we made hot apple cider and watched a year without santa claus. it's quite nice not having anything hanging over my head so i can enjoy nights like tonight. iphone photo below.

goodnight, all.
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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!

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i turned in my thesis to my committee yesterday. my advisor looked at it earlier this week and said it looked good, so hopefully my committee will think the same thing. my defense will be on november 24 at 12:30. it was a big problem to get a room reserved for a 2.5 hour chunk on a tuesday, so i'm in a giant lecture hall where we hold department seminars. i've given talks there before so i'm used to the room, but it's going to be weird to be in this huge room with just my committee after the general public leaves.

in other news, i think my second interview at lpi went well. i was there for 5 and a half hours. i got along great with the other group members and they seem to be my flavor of crazy, so i think i'd fit well with them. they said they'd let me know midweek next week. the woman who would be my boss and whom i'd be working with most closely has already called my advisor, so they're checking my references. i take that as a good sign. she wouldn't waste her time or my advisor's if they weren't interested. so now i get to wait. i really want this job. it would be absolutely perfect.

i'm now making my powerpoint for my defense so i can practice it over the next few days and have a pratice talk at school maybe on tuesday. it's almost done and looking good. i have pretty pictures and nice plots.

tonight em and i are going to see ludo. i need to call the venue and see if they allow cameras. it's a smaller venue (with super cheap tickets!) so they might, and i can see how beefy handles concert conditions.

lastly, hook 'em horns! we're killing baylor right now, and i'd love to see texas jump back up to #2 in the bcs. #3 is a horrible place to be.


Nov. 7th, 2009 05:28 pm
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the interview at lpi went really well! i have a second interview this coming wednesday, where i'll meet with the group i'd be working with and perform some sort of task. there also will be lunch involved, and the whole thing is supposed to take about four hours. i'm slightly terrified. this job would be perfect for me. it's coordinating planetary science education for everyone from girl scout leaders to college professors. and, lpi is all of five minutes from my house, so i'll be spending no money on gas instead of having to buy at least two tanks a week, and my health and dental insurance benefits start the day i start. they're all smart, funny, passionate people and i would love to work with them. i'd be sharing an office with one other person and have one whole wall of windows, where i can see all the deer that run around the building. all freaking amazing things. so hopefully i'll rock at whatever task i have to do and they'll hire me.

in other news, my thesis is just about finished. i'll be sending it to my advisor this weekend, and then my thesis committee gets it on friday. defense is the 24th. uggghhhhh. but after that, sara's coming in for thanksgiving on the 25th. we're going to go see 2012 (i am absurdly excited about this movie!), and i'm cooking thanksgiving dinner. i make a mean turkey. and badass mashed potatoes and chocolate pie. em makes sweet potatoes and a rocking pumpkin pie. and sara's bringing some fancy cookies from a place called tiff's treats. should be an awesome meal. and texas plays texas a&m so we'll have some good football to watch, too. the next day sara's going back to austin, and em and i are decorating for christmas. since we're going to new jersey for christmas, we're decorating as soon as thanksgiving is over so we'll have time to enjoy it before we leave. then i'll have to get to work on my thesis corrections. finished thesis is due to the graduate office on dec 4, which is also the last day of classes, so the following week all i'll have to do is office hours a couple of times, and maybe a review session or two for the final. so exciting. then to austin the week after that for a couple days for various and assorted doctor, dentist, and hair appointments, back to houston for more doctors and packing, and then leaving for new jersey on dec 18. good stuff. just have to get through the next two and a half weeks.

now back to formatting my thesis, as the formatting elves did not come and finish it for me while i was at target. sigh.
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em and i went to target to get cat litter and new flatware, among other things. we picked out this set of flatware and went to check out. the cashier rung up the flatware and cat litter (em was getting the other stuff.), and told me my total was $15.13. the flatware was $79.99, but rang up as something called "2 cup easy" at a grand total of $2.29. the cashier didn't even question it. so, i got something like a 97% discount. awesome!
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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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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.











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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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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)




May. 17th, 2009 09:13 pm
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em and i adopted a tiny kitten yesterday! his name is apollo and he has a gimpy leg. he was in a trap for stray cats and one of his legs got caught so it didn't develop like his other legs. he limps when he walks, but he can still run and jump and play just like he would if he had four good legs. he's gray with black stripes and a white spot on his throat. his eyes are amber and he is so small! and, he's the sweetest little guy. if we touch him he immediately starts purring like a motorboat. he's a big cuddler and likes to sleep in our laps or right between us on the couch. we have a soft blanket that has become his favorite place to hang out. he thinks he's huge and will chase tater and kepler around and attack them randomly. kepler is not impressed and doesn't stand for his shenanigans, but tater is afraid of him (even though he seriously outweighs him -- tater is 12ish lbs and we got apollo on our digital scale yesterday and he is 2.6 lbs.) so apollo chases him around, and then bites his ankles when he catches him. he's small enough to walk under tater if they're both standing up. it's hilarious. i tried taking some pictures of him in my diy small studio box, but he wanted to play. so, i put kep in the box and got a couple of pictures before apollo started attacking the box from the outside trying to get to kepler.

apollo resting his head on the base of my desk chair



apollo trying to attack kep in the box

apollo watching tv with emily (iphone photo)

he's been sneezing a bit so when i take him in to the vet to check his leg this week, i'll have him checked out to see if he has a cold or something. though, his tiny kitty sneezes are quite cute. he's a happy little kitten and we love him to pieces already. best. impulse buy. ever.


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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July 2010

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