I did not realize that it’s been since December that I’ve put anything new up. Sorry about that! Let’s see what’s been happening…
I finished Portrait Photography in the middle of December and am pretty glad to be done with it. The class was frustrating, and I just wasn’t feeling very creative. I always felt like my equipment was holding me back – I really needed a lens that could shoot at f1.4 or f2.8 in the lighting conditions we practiced with. My two lenses only got me as low as f4.0 in certain setups, and that was entirely too frustrating. I had to sit out of many sessions because my shots were just too fuzzy. For Christmas, Andrew got me a macro lens which is a set f2.8 at 100mm. I LOVE the lens – I just really wish I had it sooner to use during the class. At least I have it now, and I know exactly how to use it.
Christmas was somewhat uneventful this year. We had dinner at Amy and Mason’s for Christmas eve, and stayed home on Christmas day. The 2 1/2 week break from work that Andrew and I experienced together for the first time was not what we expected. Since we both work for the colleges now, we had December 24 through January 5 off paid holiday. We discovered that having that much time cooped up together in the house with no travel plans and nothing to do was NOT a good thing. Not good at all. Let’s just say that we will plan a trip next time, for sure.
January was much more eventful. Watching the inaguration of President Obama was very exciting for me. I am so glad nothing happened and that we seem to be moving forward as a country. I do hope he has it in him to help our economy come out of this slump.
Andrew and I went to Flagstaff for our seventh anniversary. We had dinner at Brix, which we both felt was awfully high priced for the food we got. If you like fine wine and cheese, it definitely should be at the top of your list. The cheese selection was fantastic. Then we went to Lowell Observatory for the first time. Lucky for us there was practically nobody there. They had three telescopes viewing that night. The smallest one was looking at the moon at 85x. The middle one was looking at Venus and the Orion Nebula at about 140x.
The Clark telescope was showing the moon at 180x and 460x. Talk about spectacular! Seeing the moon at 460x was uneblievable. We were studying approximately 2 miles of the moon’s surface in one view. I really enjoyed it. Since there was nobody there, we just kept moving from one telescope to another and talking with the guides. It was really cool! We finished off the trip by driving down through Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona during sunrise, which was quite pretty indeed.
And of course, then there were the Arizona Cardinals. Superbowl bound – the state went nuts! We are so proud of them for getting all the way to the Superbowl. I watched the whole game live on February 1 after we arrived home from Sedona, and was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I can’t believe we ALMOST won it! We were SO close! Ahh well – maybe next year eh? We can dream, anyway.
Work is very hectic these days. We have severe budget cuts due to the state cutbacks, and it’s making everyone a little edgy. I’ve been trying to steer my department in the right direction and save costs wherever possible. We’re slashing through some of the politics and moving forward on projects that have been waiting in the wings for years (such as moving pieces of old applications off the VAX systems). It’s been very challenging, and I’m thankful to have such a wonderful team of people to work with. They are the reason I get up in the morning and drive to work every day.
I served on a jury for the first time ever last week. It was a DUI case, and we found the defendent guilty of driving under the influence, as well as driving above a .08 blood alcohol level. His level was .13 and he was convinced that he was not drunk or impaired in any way. Sorry man – no matter how well you hold your alcohol, the state still considers you impaired. Don’t drink and drive.
I’ve been reading the Twilight series from Stephanie Meyer. I’m really not into vampires at all, and I truly didn’t believe that I could like the book. Now that I’ve finished the first one, I find that the writing is quite good. Although I don’t necessarily like the vampire talk or the suspense of the main character being hunted… the humor in the book is excellent. The details of how the characters react to each other are spot on. It really brings me back to senior year of high school the way the writer talks about friends and innocent romance. Gaaahh – what am I saying? Well, whatever, I liked it. So there. I even started reading the second book, New Moon. Hopefully it’s as good as the first one.
Let’s see, what else has been going on…? Andrew and I decided to spruce up the back yard this morning. We planted petunias, pansies, another hibiscus and a lilac vine. All the weeds are gone and the leaves have been collected. It almost looks like a nice yard now! Maybe it will start to smell nice once the petunias bloom. We have some calla lillies, daffodils and tulips coming up in the planter beds too. It’s early February in Arizona – time for all the flowers to bloom! That’s still a strange concept to me. Where I grew up, flowers bloomed in May and June!
My sister is in Mexico right now with her husband on a trip for work. They are flying back tomorrow and have a layover in Phoenix for about 4 hours, so we’re going to pick them up for lunch. It will be nice to see them, even if it’s just for a little tiny bit. I miss my sister a lot, and my neices and nephew. I wish I could see them more often. It feels like the kids are growing up without us. I wonder if they will ever know how much I think about them?
Well, I think that just about sums it up. I’ll try to post a little more often than I have been. I know – empty promises. I still have emails in my inbox from friends and family from Christmas 2007 that I haven’t responded to yet. Guilty as charged.
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